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Marine Corps Systems Command Welcomes New Commander in Historic Change of Command Ceremony

Photo by Jim Van Meer

Marine Corps Systems Command Welcomes New Commander in Historic Change of Command Ceremony

13 Jun 2024 | By Johannes Schmidt, MCSC Office of Public Affairs and Communication Marine Corps Systems Command

Earlier today, Quantico’s acquisition community gathered to witness Brig. Gen. David C. Walsh relinquish his duties as commander of Marine Corps Systems Command, or MARCORSYSCOM, to Brig. Gen. Tamara Campbell at a change of command ceremony held aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.

Campbell is returning to Hospital Point, where she previously excelled during two separate assignments at MARCORSYSCOM.

On this warm June day, a large crowd of friends, family, civilian employees, and Marines gathered to honor both Walsh and Campbell for their years of dedicated service and commitment to the Corps. Lt. Gen. Matthew G. Glavy, Deputy Commandant for Information and commander of the Marine Corps Forces Strategic Command, provided remarks—highlighting the acquisition victories achieved under Walsh’s proven leadership and the bright future under Campbell’s.

“You did it, man. Twenty-five years in naval aviation in the Fleet at NAVAIR,” Glavy speaking to Walsh. “And what do they do? We make you general officer, and we put you in the middle of ground pounder land – right in the middle of the MAGTF. And brother, you have thrived. What you have done to make Force Design a real thing and how you have changed this organization to move as fast as possible really is a testimony to your leadership.”

Addressing Campbell, Glavy enthusiastically reflected on her journey, “[It’s] almost destiny to be here today, to sit in that seat… If we could grow and start from the beginning and build the person that we want to command this organization someday, to truly begin with the end in mind, it would be you.”

Glavy continued, “The change you’re going to experience is similar to a roller coaster ride, literally and figuratively. There’s two ways to look at it. One is to clench your teeth and fight it, and you brace up and you can’t wait for it to be over. Or you hoot and you holler and you scream and you yell, and you enjoy every turn and curve because the change that we’re talking about… happens in 2.99 times ten to the eighth meters per second.”

Since taking command in June 2022, Walsh has led MARCORSYSCOM to new heights, advancing Force Design’s ambitious modernization goals by balancing crisis response readiness with modernization, increasing engagement with our allies and partners, focusing on talent management within the acquisition community, and directly contributing to the USMC’s first-ever clean audit finding.

“It’s been a tremendous privilege and honor to meet you for the last couple of years,” said Walsh. “I am humbled every day as I walk around and see the dedication and commitment to our mission and our Marines.”

“Our folks here at SYSCOM are making difference,” continued Walsh. “They’re serving their programs in service of our Marines in the Fleet. That’s why we’re here. That’s our mission, is to make sure they have what they need to be lethal and survivable on the battlefield. And I think no command epitomizes current readiness, balanced with modernization, better than Marine Corps Systems Command.”

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Walsh commissioned into the Marine Corps in 1992. After achieving a successful career in Marine Corps aviation, Walsh was selected as one of the Marine Corps’ first acquisition officers. He assumed command at MARCORSYSCOM in June 2022 and will continue to serve his nation and the Corps in his next assignment as the Program Executive Officer, Assault and Special Mission Programs.

Brig. Gen. Campbell is no stranger to Hospital Point. Although she has made an undeniable influence across the fleet, her career is marked with two previous tours at MARCORSYSCOM—first serving as a project officer for Command Aviation Command and Control Systems and Joint Interface Control Officers Support System, later returning as product manager for Integration, Interoperability and Situational Awareness within Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Command, Control and Communications.

Now, Brig. Gen. Campbell returns to MARCORSYSCOM for the third time, making history as the first black female and Jamaican-born commander. Born in Jamaica, Campbell immigrated to Boston with her family as a young child and would go on to become a United States Naval Academy graduate. As June is Caribbean American Heritage Month, it is a fitting time to celebrate Campbell’s increasingly impressive career. Her leadership comes at a critical juncture, as the command's mission to equip warfighters to win against our stated adversaries has never been more important.

Campbell offered a heartfelt encouragement to her new workforce. “I am immensely proud to return to this command and to lead such an extraordinary group of professionals and to move forward with unwavering dedication and determination, steadfast in our commitment to the mission and inspired by the legacy of those who came before us.”

This change of command represents a significant moment of continuity and advancement for the acquisition community. Under Campbell’s leadership, MARCORSYSCOM will continue to push the boundaries of innovation and speed in acquisition, ensuring our Marines remain equipped with the most advanced tools ahead of the future fight. Her commitment to excellence and forward-thinking approach will undoubtedly propel the command to new levels of success and readiness.

Campbell readily accepted the challenge and remarked to Glavy, “Thank you for honoring us with your presence today. I’m ready to ride that roller coaster.”

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