YONGSAN GARRISON —
On Feb. 7 at the Post Theater, Maj. Gen. James W. Lukeman, Assistant Chief of Staff for Plans and Policy (J5) for United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and U.S. Forces Korea as well as the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Korea (MARFOR-K) commander, relinquishes his duties as the commander to Maj. Gen. Patrick J. Hermesmann in a Change of Command ceremony.
The ceremony marks the addition of one position for a U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. to divide the significant responsibilities as the MARFOR-K commander and as the J5 directorate. Unlike most transfer of authority ceremonies where the outgoing commander leaves the area of operations, Lukeman will stay in Korea and continue as the Plans and Policy Assistant Chief of Staff while Hermesmann’s responsibilities as the commander of MARFOR-K will include maintaining the readiness of Marines in his command and partnering with the Republic of Korea’s Marines.
"I welcome this change,” said Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, UNC, CFC and USFK commander. “This assumption of command is an expression of the U.S. Marine Corps' commitment to our posture on the peninsula and allows us to deepen our cooperation with the ROK Marine Corps as a continuous counterpart - similar to the relationships our other components [Army, Navy, Air Force] already have."