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