Marine Forces Special Operations Command welcomed its eighth commander Friday when Maj. Gen. James F. Glynn took the unit from the retiring Maj. Gen. Daniel Yoo at a ceremony aboard Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Glynn last was with the special forces unit from 2011 to 2013 when he served as the commander for the Marine Raider Training Center.
“You don’t get too many opportunities to come back,” Glynn said at the ceremony, according to a media release. “And now you come back, and you stand amongst giants.”
Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David Berger and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Troy Black were among the guests at the change of command ceremony.
Berger took the opportunity to talk about the uniqueness of MARSOC within the Marine Corps and how vital the special operations unit is to the Corps’ mission.
“We have lots of stuff in the Marine Corps, we have one MARSOC, one it is that unique,” Berger said, according to press notes.
“This is a global force and their impact … around the world is amazing for the commandant of the Marine Corps and the sergeant major to watch.”
Yoo’s two years as MARSOC’s commander have been eventful.
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The outgoing commander spearheaded the units push to implements its Marine special operations force 2030 plan, which asked the force to consider the changes necessary to fight a near-peer adversary, which includes the consolidation of all MARSOC forces on Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
“There are a few times, I think when we get it right,” Berger said of Yoo. “I think that’s what happened two years ago when you were put here to lead this organization.”
But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing for Yoo.
He has come under recent criticism for his handling of an incident in Iraq that resulted in the death of a retired Green Beret. Two Marine Raiders and a Navy corpsman are facing charges, some include involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide, obstructing justice and orders violations.
The unit’s new commander, Glynn, became a Marine officer in 1989 after graduating from the Naval Academy ― starting his career as a rifle platoon commander for the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, stationed at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, according to his official biography.
The Marine went on to graduate from Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program and serve in several top tier positions in the Marine Corps, including deputy commanding general of Special Operations Joint Task Force–Operation Inherent Resolve, as the military assistant to the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, and as the director of the office of U.S. Marine Corps Communication.
“You have half a page to create what the commander of MARSOC should be … you would end up with something that looks pretty much exactly like Jim Glynn,” Berger said of the incoming commander. “This is a listening and learning leader, he’s thoughtful.”
“Some would call it a burden of command, it’s actually a privilege” Glynn said at the ceremony. “It is a privilege to have the opportunity to be a part of and to contribute to all the great things hat this force and these families do.”