Lt. Gen. John F. Goodman, commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, relinquished command to Lt. Gen. Keith J. Stalder during a retirement ceremony along the flightline here, Aug. 22.
Stalder comes to Hawaii from North Carolina, where he served as the commanding general of II Marine Expeditionary Force. He took over for Goodman who has served at MarForPac for three years.
Goodman assumed command of MarForPac on Aug. 3, 2005 and retired after 37 years in the Marine Corps and 41 years of military service.
“Thank you all for being here this evening,” Goodman said. “I asked you here so we could take a minute and honor a distinct group of people we call United States Marines.”
Six companies of Marines from I Marine Expeditionary Force; III Marine Expeditionary Force; Marine Forces, Korea; Marine Corps Bases Japan; Marine Corps Installations - West and Marine Corps Installations - Mid-Pacific, demonstrating the commander’s personnel strength in the Pacific region.
“There’s about 75,000 Marines in our MEF’s, and there’s another five or six thousand in our supporting establishments. They have been carrying the fight to our enemies around the world in different ways and in different means to achieve the things that need to be accomplished to gain greater influence for our country in places where we need to be influencing events and people. I’m here to honor them.”
A native of Sacramento, Calif., Goodman joined the Army in 1967 before transferring to the inactive Army in 1969. In 1971, he joined the Marine Corps and received his pilot’s wings in 1973.
On June 20, 2005, Goodman reported for duty as the deputy commander, MarForPac.
“Since I got here three years ago, I have been fortunate to command what I believe, is arguably the best military organization in the world: Marine Forces, Pacific,” Goodman said. “There is no task you can’t ask them to do that they won’t exceed your expectations.”
In addition, Gayle Goodman received credit for her steadfast loyalty to her husband.
“As most career Marines know, our accomplishments aren’t solely our own,” said General James T. Conway, commandant of the Marine Corps. “Your wife has been a mainstay to you. The Corps and nation have been fortunate to have you and her in its service.”
Conway also congratulated Goodman on a job well done.
“(John Goodman) is one of those people that just have the Midas touch,” Conway said. “Everything he casts his gaze on somehow seems to turn to gold… Everything John does seems to turn out well…”
Conway also stated he felt MarForPac was in good hands during Goodman’s time here.
“(Being) the commandant has lots of things that cause you to wake up at three in the morning and stare at the ceiling, but one of those, frankly the last three years, has not been Marine Forces, Pacific, because we know of the command team that we have in place,” Conway said. “We know those things that must be done out here are being done out here by the Goodman team. Whether it’s the next rotation into Iraq or Afghanistan, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, theater engagements or just posturing our Corps to its best possible advantage, John and Gayle Goodman have done just an absolutely superb job.”
Brig. Gen. Rex C. McMillian, deputy commanding general, MarForPac, accepted command from Goodman on behalf of Stalder who was unable to attend due to a sudden death in the family.