CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa, Japan --
Lieutenant Colonel Omar J. Randall relinquished command of Combat Logistics Battalion 31, the logistics combat element of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, to Lt. Col. Eric C. Malinowski during a change of command ceremony at Camp Hansen’s parade deck, June 12.
Randall, a native of Bronx, New York, has served as CLB-31’s commanding officer since June 2012 and in this time the unit participated in one humanitarian and disaster relief mission and several large-scale bilateral and multilateral exercises in the Philippines, Thailand, Australia and Korea. Randall’s next assignment will be as a Marine Corps liaison to the United States Agency for International Development in Washington, D. C.
During the ceremony, Randall passed the unit’s colors to Malinowski in front of several hundred Marines and their families, symbolizing the transfer of command authority and responsibility.
“Lt. Col. Malinowski could not have a better résumé,” said Randall. “He has done everything inside the 31st MEU as a (logistics officer), so I feel he is more than prepared to take command of the CLB.”
Malinowski’s first MEU experience was with the 26th MEU as the Service Support Group 26 Operation’s Officer from July 1996 to June 1999. He later served as the 31st MEU logistics officer from August 2006 to August 2008. Prior to his return to the 31st MEU, he served at the Pentagon with Headquarters Marine Corps, Installation & Logistics, Logistics Plans and Operations Branch from July 2013 to May 2014.
Malinowksi said in his speech that he hopes his previous MEU experience will come in handy when leading the battalion in a readily-deployable unit such as the 31st MEU.
“What excites me the most is seeing the unit from a different perspective... last time I was a staff officer, now I am the commanding officer,” said Malinowski, a native of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.”
CLB-31 is the task-organized logistics combat element of the 31st MEU and provides a full range of support functions and capabilities such as ground supply operations, health services, explosive ordinance disposal, general engineering, transportation operations and more.
The 31st MEU is the force of choice for the Asia=Pacific region and is the only continuously forward-deployed MEU.