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Marine Aircraft Group 31 change of command

By Lance Cpl. Samantha Torres | Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort | June 19, 2015

Colonel William R. Lieblein relinquished command
of Marine Aircraft Group 31 to Col. Robert
D. Cooper during a change of command ceremony
on the flight line aboard Marine Corps Air
Station Beaufort, June 12. Lieblein assumed command
of MAG-31 May 20, 2013. Cooper previously
commanded Marine Fighter Training Squadron
401 at MCAS Yuma, Ariz.
Lieblein thanked his family, friends and fellow
Marines for their support and welcomed Cooper
to his new command.
“I was very fortunate to have a great lineup of
squadron commanding officers,” said Lieblein.
“Their leadership is institutional and their perspective
is exceptional.”
Soon after earning a degree in industrial engineering,
Lieblein was commissioned as a Marine
officer in August 1989. He began his Marine Corps
career at MCAS Beaufort with Marine Fighter Attack
Squadron 451. Lieblein has been on several
deployments, including his most recent, a
13-month deployment to Afghanistan in support
of Operation Enduring Freedom.
“We’ve made some significant strides over the
last two years,” said Lieblein. “At the end of my
command tour, I know I’ve made MAG-31 stronger
and I know that Col. Cooper will do the same.
”Born is Paris, France, Cooper attended the United States Naval Academy and was commissioned as a Marine officer in May 1992. Cooper has deployed to numerous combat environments which include the skies of Serbia and Kosovo and served aboard the USS Enterprise in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and OEF.
“This is an amazing Marine Aircraft Group, and they are greatly supported by the community,” said Cooper. “The MAG has been in great hands, and I’m excited to take over.”
Cooper has been in the Marine Corps for 23 years, and will bring his leadership skills to the squadrons of MAG-31 as their new commanding officer.
As Col. Cooper addresses the Marines of MAG-31, he states, “It means a lot to be standing in front of you, with you, and for you. Marines and sailors of MAG-31, I am extremely honored, humbled, and privileged to stand with you, and work for you.”
For photos of the ceremony, visit www.facebook.com/MCASBeaufort.