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General nominated to lead Marines in Pacific

By Star Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 9:32 a.m. HST, May 26, 2014

Lt. Gen. John Toolan Jr., the commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force, has been nominated to serve as the commander of the Marine Corps Forces Pacific, the Pentagon announced this month.

He'll replace Lt. Gen. Terry Robling as the leader of 86,000 Marines and sailors in the Pacific headquartered at Camp Smith in Halawa Heights.

Toolan was commissioned in October 1976 and reported to Okinawa as an infantry officer with 1st Battalion, 9th Marines.

He served with the II Marine Expeditionary Force in Camp Lejeune from 1987 to 1991, which included tours with Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

From 1994 to 1997, Toolan commanded the 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion in Twentynine Palms, Calif.

From 2000 to 2002 he commanded Weapons and Field Training Battalion in Camp Pendleton and then joined the 1st Marine Division as the Operations Officer in Iraq.

In March 2003, Toolan took command of Regimental Combat Team 1 and led the RCT in the march up to Baghdad. He returned to Al Anbar Province for Operation Iraqi Freedom II in 2004. 

In July 2010, Toolan was assigned as the commander of the 2nd Marine Division. In March 2011, he deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, for duties as commander, Regional Command (South West) until March 2012. 

On Sept. 7, 2012, Toolan assumed command of the I Marine Expeditionary Force.

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