The current commander of a small Marine adviser team in Afghanistan known as Task Force Southwest is slated to pick up a second star.

The Defense Department announced Wednesday Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Julian D. Alford’s nomination to the rank of major general.

Alford is the current commander of the Corps’ third rotation to the volatile Helmand province, Afghanistan. He took command of the unit in the fall.

Prior to deploying to Afghanistan, Alford was the commander for Marine Corps Installations East, where he helped prepare Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, for Hurricane Florence.

Alford made a controversial call not to evacuate Camp Lejeune prior to the storm’s landfall.

As the storm approached the base, Camp Lejeune’s social media account was blasted with misinformation by people upset with the decision, some suggested Alford’s order was made over monetary concerns.

“The commands and personnel who remain are well-postured to react to situations and will be working together, like Marines always do in battle, to get through Hurricane Florence,” Alford said in a Facebook post.

“As a reminder, all non-essential personnel who are not designated in the upcoming fight against Hurricane Florence have been released from duty with their command's approval,” Camp Lejeune’s Facebook page said before the storm made landfall in September.

Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert B. Neller recently told lawmakers that the price tag to repair and replace buildings at Camp Lejeune could run as high as $3.6 billion.

Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.

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