Mr. Craig B. Welden
U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific
Craig Whelden is responsible to the Commander, Marine Forces Pacific for base operations across the command, with a special focus on the efficient move of 8,000 Marines and their family members from Okinawa to Guam. He was appointed to his current position in June 2010 after serving thirty years in the U.S. Army and another seven as an independent consultant.
Mr. Whelden’s last assignment in the Army was service as Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Army Pacific. After the events of 9/11, he was charged to lead the coordination of Hawaii’s homeland security efforts with the state’s civil authorities, an effort that received national recognition. He also served as the first Chief of Staff for a 4-star, Navy-led, Joint Task Force.
From 1998-2000, Mr. Whelden served as the Commanding General of the U.S. Army’s Community and Family Support Center, overseeing Army Soldier and Family progACrams as well as Morale, Welfare, and Recreation programs: a $1.5B business.
Mr. Whelden commanded at all levels from Captain to Brigadier General and -- while a colonel -- commanded an Area Support Group in Germany where he was responsible for base operations and quality of life programs for seven military communities and over 45,000 soldiers, family members, and other authorized patrons. He was the first former garrison commander in the Army to be selected for both Brigadier and Major General.
Earlier in his career, he served as the Operations and Training Officer (S3/G3) at multiple levels: tank battalion, cavalry squadron, armor-heavy brigade, and mechanized infantry division; and he commanded a 1,000-man combined arms task force of armor, infantry, and field artillery. He was the Chief of Staff for two of the Army’s ten combat divisions: the 3rd Infantry Division and the 1st Infantry Division.
In January, 2008, Mr. Whelden led a task force to plan and implement a new Secretary of the Army initiative called Community Covenant – a project designed to bring America’s communities closer to support for our nation’s service members and their families. For his eight month effort, he was personally recognized by the Secretary of the Army with the top two awards granted to civilian employees: the Meritorious Civilian Service Award and the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service.
In April 2011, Mr. Whelden was inducted into the Purdue University Tri-Service ROTC Hall of Fame.