CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Once a year a presidential decision is made to promote a number of colonels to the rank of brigadier general within the Marine Corps. In this year’s selection, the 2nd Marine Logistics Group came out on top.
Out of 686 Marine Corps colonels, 11 were selected to be promoted to the rank of brigadier general for fiscal year 2011. Of these 11, three are regimental commanders from the 2nd MLG.
The U.S. Code, a compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal law of the United States, explicitly limits the number of general officers who may be on active duty in the armed forces at any given time. In the Marine Corps, that cap is 80.
Col. Vincent A. Coglianese, the commanding officer of Combat Logistics Regiment 27; Col. Craig C. Crenshaw, the commanding officer of Combat Logistics Regiment 25; and Col. John W. Simmons, the commanding officer of Combat Logistics Regiment 2, all said they were humbled by the selection.
The three officers are commanders under Brig. Gen. Juan G. Ayala, the 2nd Marine Logistics Group commanding general.
“It is very impressive for all three of the regimental commanders to be selected for brigadier general in the same year,” Ayala said. “It is a testament to the quality of leadership that we have in our logistics colonels.”
This is the first time in history all three commanders from the three logistics regiments were selected at the same time.
“I was actually surprised to find out I had been selected for brigadier general,” said Simmons. “There are a lot of good people in the Marine Corps who are just as qualified, if not more, than me.”
Once a year eligible colonels are screened by a promotion board consisting of general officers. The board looks for success in leadership positions and joint duty experience to only name a few facets that were taken into consideration during the screening.
A list of recommended colonels is generated and, after being reviewed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is sent to the President of the United States via the Secretary of the Navy for final approval.
With guidance from the Secretary of Defense, the president nominates the officers to be promoted. The Senate must then confirm the nominee by a majority vote before the officer can be promoted.
“Rarely does someone come into the Marine Corps thinking one day they will reach the rank of general,” Coglianese said. “And for most, the rank of colonel is the highlight of one’s career.”
All three future brigadier generals agreed they owe their success to the Marines and sailors they served with throughout their careers.
“My selection is a reflection of everyone in my past,” Crenshaw said. “There is a point in your career where it’s no longer about you; it’s about trying to be proficient and lead Marines the best you can.”
This mind set is what has the three officers exchanging their eagle for a star and taking on greater responsibilities.
“This is an accomplishment I never aimed for,” said Coglianese. “I was always focused on doing the best I could at the billet I was in at the time. The Marine Corps rewards hard work... if you do your best, you will get rewarded.”