Thursday, January 13, 2011

Neller pins on 3rd star

Sophia E. Piellusch
(Left to right) Bret Neller, son, and Dodie Neller, mom, pin on Robert B. Neller’s three stars insignia. Neller was promoted to lieutenant general Jan. 11 at Rosenthal Theater, Headquarters & Service Bn., HQMC, Henderson Hall. Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., assistant commandant of the Marine Corps presided over the promotion.
After earning a reputation for bravery, intellect, drive and energy during his 35 years in the Marine Corps, Maj. Gen. Robert Neller was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general Jan. 11. Gen. Joseph Dunford, the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps made opening remarks as the presiding official.

Neller will be filling one of the most challenging and important jobs in uniform as the director of operations, J3, Dunford said.

‘‘In terms of influence in the organization, you could argue no one has had a greater influence than Bob Neller,” Dunford said.

Just prior to Sept. 11, 2001, then Neller was selected for brigadier general. After demonstrating bravery, passion, compassion and competence, the complete package required of a Marine leader, Neller was able to appropriate lessons learned from Iraq to develop the gold standard for training in Afghanistan while commanding 3rd Marine Division and developed the force generation model for deployment, Dunford said. As a ground combat element commander, Neller made an extraordinary impact, he said.

During his 35 years, Neller began his career as a rifle and weapons platoon leader and as a company commander with Lima, 3rd Marine Division. His success paved the way for his selection as the commanding officer of the 6th Marine Regiment until 2000. From there he served as the 2nd Marine Division G-3, assistant division commander of 2nd Marine Division. He went on to serve as the director of Plans, Policies and Operations for Headquarters, Marine Corps. In September 2005, he was re-assigned as the deputy commanding general (operations) 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), Camp Pendleton, and subsequently deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom ’05 through ‘07.

After being promoted to major general in January 2007, Neller served as the assistant division commander for 1st Marine Division. He commanded 3rd Marine Division from June 2007 to August 2009 before assuming duties as president of Marine Corps University.

Neller’s mother, Dodie, wife D’Arcy and children were present during the ceremony at the Joe Rosenthal Theater at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.

Neller loved reading about the Civil War and history when he was younger, his mother said. ‘‘I am very proud,” she said. ‘‘He was whole-heartedly committed to everything he did his entire life.”

‘‘The same energy he put into the Marine Corps, he put even more so into our Family,” said Neller’s daughter, Clare. ‘‘He instilled discipline in all of us.

During his remarks, Neller focused on thanking his wife and Family after being pinned with his third star.