by Cpl. Alissa Schuning, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar/3rd Marine Airlift Wing
Maj. Gen. Michael Rocco relinquished command of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing to Maj. Gen. Mark Wise during a change of command ceremony aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, July 22.
Rocco took command of 3rd MAW on June 17, 2014, and is heading to Manpower and Reserve Affairs at Headquarters Marine Corps.
When Rocco spoke about his time with the “Marine Corps’ greatest wing,” he made it a point to honor the men and women who made his job easy.
“When I thought about what I was going to say today, I realized that I haven’t done much,” said Rocco. “For the past two years, I’ve stood on the shoulders of giants. The 17,000 Marines and Sailors of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing have done an incredible job, and I’ve just been fortunate enough to sit in the chair.”
Rocco said he will miss being with 3rd MAW but is proud to hand over command to an extraordinary leader and a great friend.
Wise is coming to 3rd MAW after serving as deputy commander of U.S. Forces Japan and looks forward to continuing Rocco’s work.
“I very much look forward to this opportunity,” said Wise. “I know our mission, I know it cold, and we will continue to advance this wing just like Gen. Rocco has done.”
According to Rocco, he is confident that Wise will do great things while commanding 3rd MAW.
“[Maj. Gen. Wise] is going to knock it out of the park,” said Rocco. “He is absolutely incredible, and he is the right person for this wing, and I just can’t wait to see what he does to take this wing to new heights.”
Before handing over the microphone to his successor, Rocco made sure to say a final encouraging word about his former command.
“This wing is ready,” said Rocco. “This wing is ready to go to combat; they are warriors, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”