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Trump nominates new Marine Corps commandant

U.S. Marine Corps Gen. David H. Berger, the 38th commandant of the Marine Corps (U.S. Marine Corps/Released)
March 27, 2019

A new Marine Corps commandant has been nominated by President Trump this week.

Lt. Gen. David H. Berger was nominated by President Trump to be the branch’s 38th commandant, according to a Marine Corps statement on Wednesday.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan made the announcement on Wednesday one day after President Trump submitted his official nomination to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Upon Senate confirmation, Berger will earn a fourth star and replace Gen. Robert B. Neller, who will be retiring after a 44-year career, and more than three years in the position.

He was pinned with his third star in 2014 during his role as commander of I Marine Expeditionary Force.

Berger graduated from Tulane University and was commissioned as a Marine infantry officer in 1981.

“Since his commissioning in 1981, LtGen. Berger has served in multiple prestigious assignments including Director of Operations for the Department of Plans, Policies, and Operations, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps; Commanding General, 1st Marine Division (Forward) in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM; Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force; Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific. He currently serves as the Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, and the Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps,” the statement noted.

In addition to his notable accomplishments, his awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and Combat Action Ribbon.

In August, Berger left his post as commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific (MARFORPAC) and was assumed by Lt. Gen. Lewis A. Craparotta. Berger then assumed the Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps for Combat Development and Integration, Headquarters Marine Corps, and commanding general, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico, Va.

He served in the MARFORPAC post for two years and headed developments like the introduction and first deployments of the F-35B Lighting into the Marines, according to a Marine Corps statement.

Berger also oversaw the growth of the Marine Rotational Force, Darwin to a full Air-Ground Task Force with artillery battery and MV-22B Ospreys. He also headed the integration of the MV-22B Osprey into the Pacific theater to assist in humanitarian aid and disaster response.

He is expected to continue modernization efforts spearheaded by the departing Neller, who modernized policies like those on tattoos and social media, and also upgraded the physician and combat fitness tests, according to Task & Purpose.