Marine generals nominated for promotion in key shift
By Hope Hodge Seck
Maj. Gen. Robert Walsh, Director of the Expeditionary Warfare Division, N95, addresses the Surface Navy Association's National Symposium at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA, on Tuesday, January 13, 2015. (Mike Morones/Staff)
Two high-profile Marine Corps generals have been were nominated for promotion and assignment to key command jobs, according to an April 22 Wednesday afternoon announcement from the Defense Department.
President Obama has nominated Maj. Gen. Robert Walsh to receive a third star and and to the dual post of deputy commandant for Combat Development and Integration and commanding general of Marine Corps Combat Development Command, and commander of Marine Corps Forces Strategic Command, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced. Walsh, a 36-year Marine officer, is now serving as the director of Expeditionary Warfare with the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in the Pentagon.
Maj. Gen. Mark Brilakis has also been is nominated for promotion and for assignment as deputy commandant for Marine Corps Manpower and Reserve Affairs. Brilakis, a 34-year Marine, currently serves as commanding general of Marine Corps Recruiting Command, at out of Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.
If confirmed, Brilakis will fill a post that has remained been vacant since late September when then- the retirement of Lt. Gen. Robert Milstead, former deputy commandant for M&RA, retired late last September. The department has been led in the interim by Sheryl Murray, a senior executive service official who serves as assistant deputy commandant for M&RA.
Maj. Gen. Mark Brilakis, commanding general of Marine Corps Recruiting Command was nominated to receive a third star and to serve as deputy commandant for Marine Corps Manpower and Reserve Affairs.
Photo Credit: Lance Cpl. Jessica Quezada/Marine Corps
Walsh's nomination to the top MCCDC post raises questions about the future of Lt. Gen. Kenneth Glueck, who currently holds the job. Glueck, an Naval aviator who received his first unit assignment in 1976, has served as a lieutenant general since 2011. His previous high-profile posts include commander of III Marine Expeditionary Force in Okinawa, Japan, and director of Ooperations and Llogistics for U.S. Africa Command.
Glueck could be well-placed to earn his fourth star and ascend to a key Marine Corps command post in light of the announcement and rumored upcoming leadership shifts in the Marine Corps.
Defense Department sources say Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford is a top contender for the position of chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which will be vacant when the current chairman, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, retires later this year. If Dunford is nominated for the job, the appointment of a new commandant could leave a number of posts in play.
Officials with MCCDC did not immediately have information about Glueck's future assignments plans.
Apart from Dunford, there are now only two active Marine Corps four-star generals: Gen. John "Jay" Paxton, who has served as assistant commandant since December 2012, and Gen. John Kelly, who has been the commander of U.S. Southern Command since November 2012.