CAMP LEJEUNE — Thirty-two years ago, he enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves. Yesterday, he became the commanding general of six Marine Corps installations.

Brig. Gen. Julian D. Alford assumed command of Marine Corps Installation East by taking the colors from Col. Michael L. Scalise during a 25-minute ceremony inside Goettge Memorial Field House aboard Camp Lejeune Monday afternoon.

Scalise served 66 days at the helm of MCI-East after Brig. Gen. Thomas D. Weidley transitioned his command on June 2, 2017 to become the commanding general of 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Japan.

Alford becomes the sixth general to lead MCI-East since it merged with Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune on Oct. 2005, when Maj. Gen. Robert C. Dickerson became commanding general. Dickerson was followed by Maj. Gen. Carl B. Jensen who took command on July 30, 2008 who passed on the command to Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Gorry on July 22, 2011. Brig. Gen Robert F. Castellvi followed Gorry on July 12, 2013 and held the post until Weidley took command.

“I am here to support the MEF (Marine Expeditionary Force) and MARSOC, period,” Alford said in his brief remarks standing at the center of the venue supported by representatives from six units that make up his command: Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Marine Corps Air Station New River, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point and Blount Island Command.

  

“It’s an honor to be here and to be back,” Alford said. The West Georgia College graduate who enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves in 1985 while a sophomore in college said this is his fifth tour of Camp Lejeune.

Scalise spoke briefly welcoming Brig. Gen. Alford and his wife to Camp Lejeune and thanked the community for their support. ‘Welcome aboard General,” Scalise said.

MCIEAST commands and controls assigned Marine Corps Installations in order to support the operating forces, tenant commands, military personnel and families. MCD Camp Lejeune operates a training base that promotes the combat readiness of the operating forces and the missions of other tenant commands by providing training venues, facilities, services and support, according to Marine Corps Installation Command’s mission statement.

Daily News Reporter Mike McHugh can be reached at 910-219-8455 or email mike.mchugh@jdnews.com.