“I promise I’ll work for you, I promise I’ll listen and I promise to learn from you.”

Editor's note: This article was updated at 8:46 p.m. to correct a quote from Brig. Gen. Watson.

Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Installations East gained a new commanding general Tuesday.

Brig. Gen. Benjamin T. Watson, whose most recent position was serving as commanding general for Task Force Southwest, will now oversee the six installations of MCI-East: Camp Lejeune; New River, Cherry Point and Beaufort, South air stations; Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Georgia and Blount Island Command in Florida.

He replaces Col. Scott A. Baldwin, who was serving as interim base commander after prior commander Brig. Gen. Julian D. Alford deployed in August.

Maj. Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese, who introduced Watson at the assumption of command ceremony, said the installation commanders are doing a tremendous job where they stand.

"The bottom line is, we're here for the MEF ... and we realize it's the long game (as commanders)," Coglianese said.

Watson will oversee approximately 9,000 military and civilian employees across the six installations with 57,000 active duty service members supported by his guidance.

Watson’s background as an infantry officer includes:


A 1991 Cornell graduate, he received his commission through the NROTC program.
Commanding Officer, Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines from 1999-2002
G-3 Plans Officer for the Regimental Combat Team-7, 1st Marine Division from 2008-2011
Senior Military Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs from 2012-2013.
Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff from 2013-2014.
Assistant Division Commander, 2nd Marine Division from 2016-2017
Commanding General, Task Force Southwest from 2017-2018
Completed multiple deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Held multiple instructor positions at The Basic School and other Marine Corps schools.

“I don’t know much yet, but I know people are our essential resources,” Watson said. “I promise I’ll work for you, I promise I’ll listen and I promise to learn from you.”

Watson, who said he has completed several tours aboard Camp Lejeune and has family in the area, said he is looking forward to working to support those at Lejeune and those off base.

“I know there’s an existing relationship between the community and the base and I look forward to continuing that and providing Marines and families with the support they need,” Watson said.