HARRISONBURG — A Marine Corps officer with local ties was named to one of the corps’ top leadership positions last week.
On Thursday, Maj. Gen. William D. Beydler, 55, assumed command of the II Marine Expeditionary Force and U.S. Marine Corps Forces Africa during a ceremony at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
As head of the II MEF, the Bridgewater native will oversee 52,000 Marines and sailors, and more than 35,000 pieces of essential combat equipment ranging from amphibious assault vehicles and howitzers to combat engineering equipment.
In addition, the unit is responsible for 425 fixed-wing, rotary-wing, tilt rotor, and unmanned aircraft.
“We’ve got three things that we are going to focus on. Readiness, readiness, and readiness,” Beydler said in a press release.
“What I mean by that is I want our Marines and sailors to be prepared and ready to deploy at a moment’s notice and ready to employ their skills when they get to a point of friction. The Marines will be ready to meet any calling of our nation,” he said.
A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Beydler was commissioned into the Marine Corps in 1981 and trained as a pilot. Most recently, he served as the director of Strategy and Plans Division at the Marine Corps headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Beydler attended Turner Ashby High School in Bridgewater and is the son of late Bridgewater residents Lester and Nancy Beydler. Beydler’s daughter, Shannon, is a Turner Ashby alumna who graduated in 2008.
His uncle, Ben Beydler, is a Bridgewater resident and serves as president of the town’s historical society.
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