MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- A Woodbine, Md. native was frocked to brigadier general in front of friends, family and fellow Marines here, May 21.
Colonel David H. Berger, the assistant division commander of 2nd Marine Division, was promoted to brigadier general in a ceremony at the II Marine Expeditionary Force headquarters building.
Berger was commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1981 after graduating from Tulane University in New Orleans, with a bachelor’s degree in engineering. He was first assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, in Twentynine Palms, Calif., where he served as a platoon commander and assistant battalion operations officer.
Later he reported to 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, serving as company commander and as battalion operations officer during Operation Desert Storm.
In July 2002, he assumed command of 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, where he deployed with his battalion to Okinawa, Japan, and then to Haiti for Operation Secure Tomorrow in early 2004.
Then in August 2005, he became the commanding officer of Regimental Combat Team 8 in Fallujah, Iraq. The regiment conducted continuous combat operations in the eastern portion of the Al Anbar Province, one of the most dangerous areas in Iraq.
As the assistant division commander of 2nd Marine Division, Berger commands the remain-behind elements of the division, while the majority is deployed to Iraq.
At his promotion ceremony, Berger thanked his family first.
“I have more people to thank then I can certainly take time to do today,” he explained. “(My parents) put into myself, my brother and my sister values that have stuck with us. They are my role models.”
He explained his family’s willingness to help him through the years.
“I have a tremendous family. They’re a hoot. They will put you in your place if you start to get a little big in the head in heartbeat,” he said. “You don’t have to tell them why if you ask them for something. Help comes from every direction without asking for anything in return without asking why.”
Berger’s wife and his four sons were all in attendance.
“Having all them here today, you can’t put a price on it,” Berger said. “Our boys have turned out better than we could imagine…I’m proud of them.”
After 26 years serving his country, the humbled, newly-promoted general thanked the crowded room.
“If you had some little part in getting me where (my wife) and I are today, I appreciate it; thank you,” he said.