Maj. Gen. David G. Bellon assumed command of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South during a change of command ceremony in Doral, Florida, May 22.
Brig. Gen. Kevin M. Iiams relinquished command to Bellon during the ceremony after serving as the commander of MARFORSOUTH since January 2016.
Bellon was previously the director of the Reserve Affairs Division. Iiams is set to be the commander of U.S. Marine Corps Training and Education Command.
Iiams praised his Marines for the progress they’ve made the impact they have had on the region during his command, telling them the effects of their work would last long after they had all left the command.
“We’ve planted the seeds for trees we’ll never see,” Iiams told Marines.
For his part, Bellon said he was looking forward to commanding the Marines of MARFORSOUTH and working with their partners in the region. He pointed to the various times he had traveled or worked in South and Central America, explaining that his family felt a special connection to the countries they had been to during his time as a Marine.
“This is a region that our family loves,” said Bellon. “And we love it because there are so many layers to the different cultures that we find in the region. And what we’ve found is a common set of values that resonate with our family.”