CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Marine Maj. Gen. Robert R. Blackman Jr. is expected to become the ranking Marine on Okinawa next month.

Blackman’s nomination to replace Marine Lt. Gen. Wallace C. Gregson as 3 Marine Expeditionary Force commanding general was announced Friday.

A change of command is slated for July 16.

Blackman, currently the Marine Corps Forces Central deputy commander at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., also has been nominated for his third star.

Gregson was selected earlier this year to be Commander, Marine Forces Pacific, which oversees all Marines in Japan, Hawaii and California. He will replace Marine Lt. Gen. Earl B. Hailston, who is retiring.

Blackman, commissioned after graduating from Cornell University in 1970, was a platoon commander and company executive officer with 1st Battalion, 4th Marines. He also was a series commander at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, directed Sea School and was a company commander in 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines. He was executive officer for 8th Marines in 1987.

In 1988, he assumed command of 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines. In 1991, he was the U.S. Central Command’s commander-in-chief’s executive officer. In 1993, he commanded the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. In 1998, he was 2nd Marine Division’s assistant division commander and commanded the division from 1999 until 2001.

He has held numerous staff billets, including tours as a fellow in National Security Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government, military assistant to the secretary of the Navy and president of the Marine Corps University.

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