Marines in Europe, Africa get new boss

Maj. Gen. Stephen M. Neary took command of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, during a ceremony at the unit's Panzer Kaserne headquarters in Boeblingen, Germany.


By STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 8, 2020

STUTTGART, Germany — Maj. Gen. Stephen M. Neary took command of Marine Corps missions in Europe and Africa on Wednesday during a change-in-leadership ceremony at Panzer Kaserne in Boeblingen.

Neary replaced Maj. Gen. Patrick J. Hermesmann, who led U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa for the past year and is retiring.

Neary previously served as the II Marine Expeditionary Force deputy commander and commander of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade.

At the same ceremony, Sgt. Maj. Aaron G. McDonald took over as the senior enlisted leader for the Marines in Europe and Africa. He replaced Sgt. Maj Michael Woods, who had served as the command’s sergeant major since 2018.

While the Marine Corps has the smallest number of forces in Europe among the Pentagon branches, its mission has grown in recent years. In addition to crisis-response forces based out of Spain and Italy, the Marines’ Stuttgart-area headquarters oversees troops on rotation in Norway who train with allies in the Arctic.