Hartsville native, Citadel graduate assumes command of 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade

The Citadel Photo

Photo: Sergeant Maj. Don J. Hernandez, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade Sergeant Major, passes the colors from Maj. Gen. Stephen M. Neary, outgoing commanding general, to Brig. Gen. David L. Odom, incoming commanding general, during the 2nd MEB change of command ceremony on Camp Legeune, N.C., June 5.

As seen in SC Now, by 1st Lt. Angelico Sposato, U.S. Marine Corps

Major Gen. Stephen M. Neary relinquished command of 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade to Brig. Gen. David L. Odom, a Hartsville native and 1991 graduate of The Citadel, during a change of command ceremony Friday at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Lt. Gen. Brian D. Beaudreault, commanding general of II Marine Expeditionary Force, opened the ceremony by speaking about the important role the MEB has played in the grand scheme of the Marine Expeditionary Force’s mission.

Beaudreault congratulated Neary on his successful tenure as commanding general of 2nd MEB and attributed to Neary and his staff the success of missions across the globe such as Baltic Operations, Trident Jupiter, Maritime Prepositioning Force Exercise and Atlantic Response.

Major Gen. Stephen M. Neary, outgoing 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade commanding general, addresses Brig. Gen. David L. Odom, incoming 2nd MEB commanding general, during a change of command ceremony

“There have been three things that have been important to the MEF, whether it was command and control, enhancing relationships with allies and partners, and contributing to naval integration. The MEB has been the lead of this formation and making it all come together,” Beaudreault said.

Neary said farewell to his Marines and sailors, reflecting on his two-year tenure as commanding general. He referred back to his 45-day assessment written when he assumed command of 2nd MEB.

“The quality and diligence of the Marines and sailors assigned to 2nd MEB continue to impress me,” Neary said. “They are a great team, and I am honored to be with them. We stand ready to provide a ready MEB command element prepared for crisis and contingency.”

Odom welcomed guests and fellow general officers and sergeants major before his opening remarks as commanding general.

Odom’s prior assignment was as the commanding general of Task Force Southwest during Operation Resolute Support in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. A career infantryman, he has held command at all levels, including 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment during Operation Enduring Freedom, 4th Marine Regiment in Okinawa, Japan, and assistant commander of 2nd Marine Division.