5th Marine Regiment Command Desk

Meet the Commanding Officer and Sergeant Major

Colonel Christopher T. Steele, Commanding Officer

Colonel Chris Steele is a native of Fayetteville, Georgia. He enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in 1994, obtaining the rank of Sergeant. He was commissioned a Marine Second Lieutenant in 1998, upon graduation from the University of North Georgia.

Colonel Steele completed The Basic School in 1999 and subsequently completed the Infantry Officer Course. He was then ordered to report to 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines. From 1999 to 2003, Colonel Steele served as a Rifle Platoon Commander, Company Executive Officer, and Assistant Operations Officer. During this time, he completed two deployments to Japan.

Upon completion of his tour with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, Colonel Steele served as a Basic Officers Course Instructor in Quantico, Virginia. After spending a year in the Warfighting Department, he served as a Staff Platoon Commander for Company A, Company E and Company I. He attended Expeditionary Warfare School from 2005 to 2006 and was then ordered to report to 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines.

Colonel Steele executed two deployments in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM during his time with 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines. He served as the Assistant Operations Officer during his first deployment, and the Commanding Officer of Company G during his second deployment.

Upon completion of his time with 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, Colonel Steele was reassigned to Expeditionary Warfare Training Group, Atlantic (EWTGLANT). From 2008 to 2011, Colonel Steele served as an Amphibious Warfare Instructor. Upon completion of his tour at EWTGLANT, Colonel Steele attended the Marine Corps Command and Staff College in Quantico, Virginia. He then received orders to report to 1st Battalion, 4th Marines for service as the Battalion Executive Officer.

Colonel Steele served as the Executive Officer for Battalion Landing Team 1/4 from 2012 to 2014 and completed a WESTPAC deployment in support of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). Upon completion of this tour, he was ordered to report to the 13th MEU Command Element, where he served as the Executive Officer and Operations Officer. Prior to the execution of his second deployment in support of the MEU, Colonel Steele was promoted and ordered to report to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines for service as the commanding officer.

Colonel Steele commanded 2/7 from June 2015, to December 2016. During this time, the battalion deployed as the Ground Combat Element (GCE) in support of the newly formed Special Purpose Marine Air / Ground Task Force, Crisis Response, Central Command (SPMAGTF-CR-CC). Upon completion of his tour with 7th Marines, Colonel Steele attended the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.

From 2018 to 2020, Colonel Steele served as the Special Plans Branch Chief within NORAD and USNORTHCOM’s Strategy, Policy, and Plans Directorate. Upon completion of this tour, Colonel Steele received orders to report to III Marine Expeditionary Force in Okinawa, Japan. From 2020, to 2021, he served as the III MEF Current Operations Officer. In June 2021, Colonel Steele returned to 1st Marine Division to assume command of 5th Marine Regiment.

Sergeant Major Justin L. Stokes,

Sergeant Major Justin L. Stokes is a native of Mason City, Iowa.  He enlisted in October 1994 and underwent Recruit Training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California.
 

In March 1995, Sergeant Major Stokes completed Motor Transport Operator’s Course aboard Camp Johnson, North Carolina.  He was ordered to Battery B, 1st Battalion, 11th Marines, Camp Pendleton, California.  In October of 1995, Sergeant Major Stokes deployed with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit in support of Battalion Landing Team 1/1.  In May of 1998 Sergeant Major Stokes again deployed, this time with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit in support of Battalion Landing Team 3/1. 

 

In March 1999, Sergeant Major Stokes attended Marine Security Guard School at Quantico, Virginia, and was assigned to American Embassy Abidjan Cote d’ Ivoire, Africa.  In September of 2000, Sergeant  Major Stokes was reassigned to American Consulate Frankfurt, Germany.  In December of 2001, Sergeant  Major Stokes was again reassigned, this time to American Embassy Vienna, Austria and in January 2002 was meritoriously promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant. 

 

In April 2003, Sergeant Major Stokes was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California.  While assigned to 3rd Battalion 5th Marines, Sergeant Major  Stokes deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Upon completion of his third Iraq deployment, Sergeant Major Stokes reported to Motor Vehicle Operator’s Course, Marine Corps Detachment, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri in August 2006 and was promoted to Gunnery Sergeant in November of the same year.  During this tour, Sergeant Major Stokes served as an instructor and as the Academics Chief.  

 

Upon being frocked to First Sergeant in May 2010, Sergeant Major Stokes was assigned to Combat Engineer Company, Combat Assault Battalion, 3D Marine Division.  In August of 2010 Sergeant Major Stokes deployed to Helmond Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  In December of 2012 Sergeant Major Stokes was assigned to Headquarters and Service Company, Combat Assault Battalion.  

 

Sergeant Major Stokes reported to I&I, Rock Island, Illinois, Combat Logistics Battalion 451, Combat Logistics Regiment 45, 4th Marine Logistics Group for duty in March 2013 as the Inspector-Instructor First Sergeant.

 

Sergeant Major Stokes reported to Combat Logistics Battalion 11 in August 2015.  During this tour, Sergeant Major Stokes participated in West PAC 16-2, in support of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.  

Sergeant Major Stokes reported to 5th Battalion, 11th Marines on December 12, 2017.

 Sergeant Major Stokes reported to 5th Marine Regiment on June 12, 2019 to assume the post as the 5th Marines Sergeant Major.

 Sergeant Major Stokes’ personal awards include: Meritorious Service Medal with two gold stars, Navy Commendation Medal with two gold stars, Navy Achievement Medal with one gold star and combat distinguishing device, Combat Action Ribbon with one gold star, and the Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.

About the 5th Marine Regiment Command Desk

The 5th Marine Regiment is comprised of a Command Deck, Headquarters Company and 4 Battalions which might, at any one given time, constitute 4,000-5,000 Marines. Until such time as any one of the 5th Marines 4 Battalions, Command and/or the Headquarters Company are deployed, each are located at Camp Pendleton.

When the 5th Marine Command and Headquarters Company are deployed in a Combat Zone they are then referred to as Regimental Combat Team Five or RCT-5. The CO retains Command over each of  his four Regimental Battalions while he is deployed. An In-Country Tour for RCT-5 is normally 12 months or more. For the Units under that Command structure, their Tour is normally 7 months. These combat elements may come from other Regular or Reserve Units here in the States or elsewhere, and the CO may, during his Tour not Command any one of his 4 Battalions while In-Country.

The 4 Battalions which comprise the 5th MAR are the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines (1/5), 2/5, 3/5, and 2/4. All, including the Command, are located at Camp Pendleton in Area 62 or Camp Mateo. This compound is located just inside the Christianitos Gate.