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MEDIA UPDATE: U.S. Southern Command Change-Of-Command Ceremony to Begin at 4 P.M. Nov. 19

Point of Contact:

U.S Southern Command,
Public Affairs Office
Mr. Jose Ruiz, Tel. 305-437-1205/1213
Cell: 786-239-1996
MIAMI — U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John Kelly will assume duties as commander of U.S. Southern Command from U.S. Air Force Gen. Douglas Fraser during a formal change-of-command ceremony at SOUTHCOM’s headquarters 4 p.m., Monday.
U.S. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will officiate over the transfer of command.
Fraser, who began his tenure as commander of SOUTHCOM June 25, 2009, will retire after 37 years of distinguished military service as an Air Force officer, pilot and military leader. While commander of SOUTHCOM, Fraser led Operation Unified Response, the Defense Department’s support to U.S. and international relief efforts in Haiti following the devastating earthquake of Jan. 12, 2010, and the largest disaster response mission in modern U.S. military history.
Kelly’s presidential nomination for appointment to the grade of general and assignment as SOUTHCOM commander was approved by the U.S. Senate July 26. He will receive his fourth star in a private military promotion ceremony before assuming duties as SOUTHCOM’s newest Commander.
Kelly comes to SOUTHCOM from the Pentagon, where he served as Senior Military Advisor to the Secretary of Defense since March 2011.
His career includes tours as Commander of Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North, Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) and commander of the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, Calif. He has also served combat tours in Iraq and tours as the Commandant of the Marine Corps’ Liaison Officer to the U.S. House of Representatives and Legislative Assistant.
Kelly enlisted in the Marines in 1970 and was commissioned as a Marine officer in 1976 after graduating from the University of Massachusetts. He has attended the Marine Corps Command and Staff College and the School for Advanced Warfare at Quantico, Va., and is a 1995 graduate of the National War College in Washington D.C.
U.S. Southern Command is one of the nation’s six geographically-focused unified commands with responsibility for U.S. military operations in the Caribbean, Central America and South America.
Southern Command headquarters is located at: 9301 NW 33rd St., Doral, Fla. 33172. For more information about U.S. Southern Command visit
NOTE TO MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES: Media interested in covering this ceremony should contact the Public Affairs Office with the names of reporters and/or photographers no later than 11 a.m., Monday. Please arrive Monday no later than 3 p.m. to allow enough time for parking and security screening. Satellite trucks should arrive earlier. Press credentialing will be required for access to the event and press badges will be issued for display. For directions to SOUTHCOM or additional information about this event, contact the Public Affairs Office at the phone number or e-mail listed above.

Links to related videos and images:

Kelly w/Panetta as they walk with Chinese Rear Adm. Li Ji (9/2012)
Maj. Gen. John F. Kelly, commanding general, Multi-National Force - West and governor of al Anbar, sign Provincial Iraqi Control documents (9/2008)

Maj. Gen. Kelly and Maj. Gen. Tariq Walk Through Fallujah (10/2008)
Gen. John F. Kelly walks through the Sina District (11/2008)
Maj. Gen Kelly Part 1 of 4 - Talks to a CBS reporter in Atlanta, Ga. (1/2009) (links to other 3 parts available on this page)
Maj. Gen. Kelly - Pentagon Press Conference, Part 1 (3/2008)
Camp Fallujah Closing - Maj. Gen. John Kelly walking the streets of Fallujah meeting local Iraqis (11/2008)


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