MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – The Marines and Sailors of 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command said farewell to Lt. Col. Neil C. Schuehle, its first battalion commander, during a change of command ceremony here, June 18.
“Eighteen years ago, I left 1st Force Reconnaissance Company as a sergeant to enter (Officer Candidate School), and upon my leaving, I said to my peers that I would someday come back and command 1st Force Recon,” said Schuehle during the heart-felt ceremony. “That was an unanswered prayer. Instead, I got something that was far better and beyond my wildest dreams – I got to command 1st MSOB.”
Schuehle enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1987 and was meritoriously promoted to the ranks of lance corporal, corporal and sergeant while serving in 1st Force Recon. His leadership and motivation soon caught the attention of his superiors and he was selected to the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program. He attended the Citadel in August 1990 and was commissioned in August 1992 as an infantry officer.
“I’ve been blessed in MARSOC to have great commanders, and frankly, they don’t get any better than Neil Schuehle,” said Maj. Gen. Dennis J. Hejlik, Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command. “Neil has done a superb job here with the battalion. He took this command, and in a short two-year period, he increased their people by 300 percent and their equipment by 540 percent. He’s taken this 500-plus man battalion and turned it into what is now the standard for MARSOC.”
Command of 1st MSOB has now passed to Lt. Col. Jeffrey C. Tuggle.
“When it came to the selection of a new commander, I had Jeff Tuggle on my mind because I knew he was a superb Marine,” said Hejlik. “He’s got a great reputation and I’m glad to have him aboard.”
Tuggle, an Auburn University graduate, earned his commission in 1990 and went on to be an infantry officer. Throughout the past 18 years, Tuggle has been decorated eight times for his performance, including the Bronze Star with combat “V.”
“I’m honored to be a part of this team,” said Tuggle. “I look forward to taking advantage of the momentum that has been created by the Marines and Sailors of 1st MSOB.”
1st MSOB has changed its commander, but the warrior spirit that has shaped the battalion remains constant. The outstanding leadership of Lt. Col. Schuehle has guided 1st MSOB to where it is today, and Lt. Col. Tuggle is poised to lead the battalion into the next chapter of their story.