The Marines are coming: Commandant nominee, with Sen. Dan Sullivan


Must Read Alaska has learned that David H. Berger, the incoming Commandant of the Marine Corps, will be visiting Alaska this week with U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, in advance of his confirmation hearing with the Senate Armed Services Committee next Tuesday. Sullivan is a member of the committee.

Lt. Gen. Berger was nominated to be general and commandant of the Marine Corps by President Donald Trump on March 26. Upon final confirmation from the Senate, Berger would become the Corps’ 38th commandant.

Berger is a former infantry platoon commander and recon Marine. He is currently the commander of Marine Corps Combat Development Command and Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration, at Quantico, Va.

Berger served Iraq in the Desert Storm operation. He also commanded Regimental Combat Team 8 in Fallujah, Iraq as a colonel. He commanded the 1st Marine Division in Afghanistan.

Sullivan is also a member of the Marine Corps Reserves, where he is currently serves as colonel. Since 1993, Sullivan has had a variety of command and staff billets on active duty and in the reserves. In 2004, he was recalled to active duty for a year and a half to serve as a staff officer to General John Abizaid, the Commander of U.S. Central Command, spending substantial time deployed in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.  In July 2013, while serving as commissioner of Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources, Sullivan was recalled to active duty to serve with a Joint Task Force in Afghanistan focusing on dismantling terrorist networks and criminalizing the Taliban insurgency. He was executive officer of the 4th Marine Division’s Anti-Terrorism Battalion.

Alaska has significant military presence with the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Coast Guard. Although Marines have trained in the state, there’s not a significant assigned presence for “the few, the proud.” Sullivan has said he’d like to change that. In 2016, Sullivan brought the now-retiring Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert B. Neller to Alaska and toured him around the state’s bases, training facilities and ranges.

“The Marines are looking at spending a lot more time in Alaska,” Sullivan last year an August trip around the state with Army Secretary Mark Esper.


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