Allen Takes Reins as ISAF Commander

KABUL, Afghanistan, July 18, 2011 — Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen assumed com­mand of the NATO-led Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force and U.S. forces in Afghanistan here today.

Allen suc­ceeds Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, who will retire from the Army this sum­mer and will then serve as CIA direc­tor.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chair­man of the Joints Chiefs of Staff and Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mat­tis, com­man­der, U.S. Cen­tral Com­mand, were on hand for the change-of-com­mand cer­e­mo­ny.

Allen served as Centcom’s deputy com­man­der from July 2008 until last month. From 2006 to 2008, he was deputy com­man­der of the 2nd Marine Expe­di­tionary Force and com­man­der of the 2nd Marine Expe­di­tionary Brigade, deploy­ing to Iraq as deputy com­man­der Gen­er­al of Multi­na­tion­al Force in Anbar Province.

He was the first Marine Corps offi­cer to serve as com­man­dant of mid­ship­men at the U.S. Naval Acad­e­my, served as a Marine Corps Fel­low to the Cen­ter for Strate­gic and Inter­na­tion­al Stud­ies, and was the first Marine Corps offi­cer induct­ed as a term mem­ber of the Coun­cil on For­eign Rela­tions.

The gen­er­al received his fourth star from Mullen before the change of com­mand.

“Through­out, we will keep our eyes on the hori­zon – the future of Afghanistan – a nation of free peo­ple at peace, gov­erned under its con­sti­tu­tion, pur­su­ing eco­nom­ic enter­prise and devel­op­ment, in a secure and sta­ble envi­ron­ment free from the extrem­ism and ter­ror­ism that has plagued this won­der­ful coun­try and its peo­ple for more than a gen­er­a­tion,” Allen said after tak­ing com­mand. “In the end, togeth­er, we will pre­vail.”

From an Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force News Release