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Photo Information

Colonel Frank Donovan takes command of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit from Lt. Col. Jason Waldron during an assumption of command ceremony in front of II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters on Camp Lejeune, N.C. May 6, 2011.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Michael J. Petersheim

New commander takes over the helm of 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit

6 May 2011 | 24th MEU Public Affairs Office 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Colonel Frank Donovan took command of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit during an assumption of command ceremony at II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters, May 6.

A letter from Lt. Gen. John M. Paxton Jr., the commanding general of II MEF, was read during the ceremony.

The letter congratulated Donovan on his new command and commended Lt. Col Jason Waldron for filling the role of commander.

“Frank, congratulations on your assignment to this critical operational command,” was read from the letter. “You have our full confidence as you prepare to lead more than 2,200 Marines and Sailors through rigorous pre-deployment training programs, numerous contingency operations and vital theater security cooperation initiative.

“Jason, you stepped up and took the reins when we needed your leadership and insight the most. As the glue for the command element, you not only held the MEU command team together, but kept a steady path on the way to composite our air, ground and logistic elements. I expect continued success from your team as you prepare for your next deployment.”

Donovan said he plans to lead and prepare the MEU using a three tier principle.

“We’re going to focus more on going to places where we don’t have a lot of support and have to be self sufficient, and we’re going to do that by having our operating principle based on the fact of three tiers,” Donovan said. “Light ashore, medium from the sea and heavy follow on, are the operating principles I want us to focus on during our pre-deployment training cycle.”

Donovan also expressed enthusiasm for taking command of the MEU.

“I’m excited to be here, it’s a true honor and privilege to sever with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit,” Donovan said. “The 24th MEU has an incredible reputation.”

Donovan previously was assigned to the U.S. Special Operations Command. Prior to that, he served as the battalion commander for 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.

The 24th MEU is one of three MEUs stationed at Camp Lejeune. A MEU acts as a force in readiness able to respond to a variety of contingencies from disaster relief to full-scale combat operations. The unit is currently scheduled to deploy again in early 2012.