Lt. Gen. Steven A. Hummer assumed command of Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North Aug. 10 during a ceremony at Marine Corps Support Facility New Orleans.
“Marine Forces Reserve has absolutely been in on the last 10 years,” said Hummer, referring to Reserve Marines’ participation in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom as well as theatre security operations across the globe. “They are an operational Reserve in every aspect of the definition.”
The ceremony was unlike most customary changes of command where the flag is passed from the outgoing party to the incoming party. Instead, Sgt. Maj. Kim Davis, MarForRes Sergeant Major, and Master Chief Petty Officer Eric E. Cousin, the MarForRes command master chief, passed the flags of MarForRes and MarForNorth directly to Hummer, symbolizing his assumption.
Before Hummer took charge, Major Gen. Darrell L. Moore led MarForRes while also acting as director of Reserve Affairs. “Folks would say he’s been the acting commander of Marine Forces Reserve and I, as the commandant, have made the decision in my book you have been the commander of Marine Forces Reserve, Darrel,” said Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos, “You have done the work and taken care of the Marines and sailors of this wonderful organization.”
Marine Forces Reserve, which is composed of approximately 100,000 Marines and 183 training centers throughout the U.S., is the largest command in the Marine Corps and is the first force-level command for Hummer. The previous commander of MarForRes was Lt. Gen. John F. Kelly who commanded MarForRes from October 2009 to March 2011. He is currently serving as the senior military assistant to the Secretary of Defense.
Hummer first enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1970 and was later honorably discharged as a sergeant in 1973. Hummer was later commissioned following graduation from Albright College, Reading, Pa., where he received a degree in psycho-biology.
As a company grade officer, he served with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment and 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment and held the billets of rifle platoon commander, battalion training officer, battalion operations officer, and company commander.
As a field grade officer, he served with 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force and III Marine Expeditionary Force. His assignments included officer-in-charge for 1st Marines Regimental Enhanced Training Section, 1st MARDIV; operations officer for the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, officer-in-charge for III MEF’s Special Operations Training Group; assistant future plans officer, 1st MARDIV; commanding officer for Battalion Landing Team 1/1 under 13th MEU and 15th MEU; and as the commanding officer for 7th Marines during Operation Iraqi Freedom I. Hummer most recently completed a tour as the director of operations for U.S. Forces – Iraq and served as the chief of staff for the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Implementation Team.
“There’s no shortage of work for Marine Forces Reserve. There’s no shortage of sacrifice by Marine Forces Reserve,” said Amos, noting that more than 1,000 MarForRes Marines are currently deployed to northern Africa. Today’s Reserve is the most combat experienced he’s seen in his 40 years as a Marine, he said.
Marine Forces Reserve augments and reinforces active Marine forces in a time of war, national emergency or contingency operations, provide personnel and operational tempo relief for the active forces in peacetime, and provide service to the community.
Hummer ended his remarks with a promise to the Marines he would now lead.
“I promise you that I will be your best advocate,” he said, adding, “Laissez le bon temps rouler, let the good times roll.”
By Sgt. Tyler J. Hlavac and Cpl. Jad Sleiman, Marine Forces Reserve