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Brig. Gen. Craig Q. Timberlake, the commanding general of 3rd Marine Division, relinquishes command to Brig. Gen. William M. Jurney during a change-of-command ceremony on Camp Courtney, Okinawa,  July 6, 2018.
Brig. Gen. Craig Q. Timberlake, the commanding general of 3rd Marine Division, relinquishes command to Brig. Gen. William M. Jurney during a change-of-command ceremony on Camp Courtney, Okinawa, July 6, 2018. (Timothy Hernandez/U.S. Marine Corps)
Brig. Gen. Craig Q. Timberlake, the commanding general of 3rd Marine Division, relinquishes command to Brig. Gen. William M. Jurney during a change-of-command ceremony on Camp Courtney, Okinawa,  July 6, 2018.
Brig. Gen. Craig Q. Timberlake, the commanding general of 3rd Marine Division, relinquishes command to Brig. Gen. William M. Jurney during a change-of-command ceremony on Camp Courtney, Okinawa, July 6, 2018. (Timothy Hernandez/U.S. Marine Corps)
Brig. Gen. William Jurney took command of the 3rd Marine Division during a ceremony Friday at Camp Courtney, Okinawa.
Brig. Gen. William Jurney took command of the 3rd Marine Division during a ceremony Friday at Camp Courtney, Okinawa. (Charles Plouffe/U.S. Marine Corps)

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Brig. Gen. William Jurney took command of the 3rd Marine Division during a ceremony Friday at Camp Courtney, Okinawa.

The former enlisted infantryman turned officer with combat experience and a Bronze Star arrives at the U.S.’s only forward-deployed Marine division — affectionately referred to as “Caltrap Nation” — after a stint leading Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and the Western Recruiting Region.

He replaces Maj. Gen. Craig Timberlake who is retiring after 41 years in uniform.

“I am new to the team and I am new to the Okinawa, but I am no stranger to the Division mission,” Jurney said, according to a Marine Corps statement.

Jurney will oversee an aviation-supported division — split between Hawaii and Okinawa — tasked, primarily, with amphibious assault. His forces include rotational units forward deployed through the Unit Deployment Program.

A college graduate, Jurney enlisted in 1987 as an infantryman and became an officer a year later under the Enlisted Commissioning Program.

He deployed in support of operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, conducted peacekeeping operations in Kosovo, and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also served as executive officer of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in 2013.

Timberlake, a Kentucky native and combat veteran, departs Okinawa after about a year and a half on the job. He took over for Maj. Gen. Richard Simcock II in January 2017 at a time of heightened geopolitical tension in the region.

“It is the Marines, sailors, soldiers and family members of 3rd Marine Division that make it great,” Timberlake said, according to the statement. “There is no prouder moment within my 41 years of service than when I joined Caltrap Nation.”

burke.matt@stripes.com

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