It’s not quite official, but…

Reserve Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Doug Stone has been tapped as the next commander for Marine Forces Reserve. He will replace current commander, Lt. Gen. John W. Bergman, later this year.

Stone is still in his current job as deputy commanding general, Multi-National Force – Iraq (Detainee Operations) and commanding general, Task Force 134. In short he heads up detainee operations, which could be slippery slope for anyone, but hey, after the infamous activities at epicenter Abu Ghraib, one can’t go anywhere but up, right? It seems he’s done quite the job during this past year such that Multinational Force commander, Gen. David H. (King David) Petraeus would prefer for Stone to stick around, according to sources. But, the future of the Marine Corps seems to have trumped current ops, and Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James T. Conway is looking to the future.

Sources tell us Stone is making a change that should have been made long ago – he’s opening up an office in Washington, D.C., an addition to the job’s current New Orleans mooring. The head of the Navy’s reserve has long bounced back and forth between New Orleans and his D.C. office. The Army’s reserve chief also is in Washington. The Marine Corps Reserve is no longer a backwater so why should the command and commander be relegated as such?

But all may not be well in Marine Land. Stone seems to be a big-picture, joint, and international kind of guy … every bit the Marine, but not necessarily corporate Marine Corps. Seems like a positive – unencumbered by less-than-important distractions to better keep his force shakin’ with the Regulars and joint ops worldwide.

Breaking away from that Marine Corps Mafia so prevalent in New Orleans isn’t a bad idea either. Some on the active side charge he does not understand the Corps or its reserve. (Don’t they say this about almost everybody? Yeah, like Conway would pick some aloof, ne’er-do-well.) Sounds like a perception hurdle for Stone, but a strength for the long-term health of the force.

All things considered, not bad for a corporate (civilian) superhero (or so we hear) who pinned on his second star a year ago.

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