Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced several new general officer nominations on Monday, just months before President Obama is expected to name a new commandant of the Marine Corps.
The announcement solidifies upcoming plans for a three-star general, whose name generated some buzz late last year as a potential consideration for the Corps’ next top general. Lt. Gen. John Toolan Jr., who has been tapped to become the new commander of Marine Corps Forces Pacific, was rumored last year as a possible replacement for Gen. Jim Amos, whose whose four-year term ends this fall.
Hagel’s full announcement included the following nominations:
■ Lt. Gen. Jon Davis was tapped to replace Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle as deputy commandant for aviation with Headquarters Marine Corps. Davis is currently serving as the deputy commander of U.S. Cyber Command.
■ Lt. Gen. Robert Neller for assignment as commander of Marine Corps Forces Command, commanding general of Fleet Marine Force Atlantic, commander of Marine Corps Bases Atlantic, and commander of Marine Corps Forces Europe. Neller is currently serving as commander of Marine Corps Forces Central Command.
■ Lt. Gen. John Toolan Jr. was nominated to serve as commander of Marine Corps Forces Pacific. Toolan is currently serving as the commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force. He’ll replace Lt. Gen. Terry Robling as commander of MARFORPAC.
■ Maj. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie was nominated for a third star and to serve as commander of Marine Corps Forces Central Command. McKenzie is currently serving as the Marine Corps representative to the Quadrennial Defense Review
■ Reserve Col. Helen Pratt for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Pratt is currently serving as the deputy commander of 4th Marine Logistics Group, based out of New Orleans, Louisiana.
■ Reserve Col. Patrick Hermesmann for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Hermesmann is currently serving as vice chief of staff for Marine Forces Reserve, based out of New Orleans.