Leaders
Commanding Officer, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines
LtCol Benjamin M. Middendorf

LtCol Benjamin M. Middendorf is originally from Oronoco, MN and enlisted in the Minnesota Army National Guard in 1996.  In 1998 he received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, graduating in 2002. He was approved for an inter-service transfer to the United States Marine Corps, reporting to The Basic School in 2002 and subsequently attended the Infantry Officer Course, graduating in 2003.

As a Lieutenant in the Fleet Marine Force (FMF) he served with 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines located at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.  His billets included Rifle Platoon Commander, Company Executive Officer, and Heavy Machine Gun Platoon Commander.  He deployed in 2003 with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit based out of Okinawa, Japan and participated in exercises in Korea, Thailand, and Singapore.  He deployed again in 2005 in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM to the Laghman and Kunar Provinces of Afghanistan.

As a Captain in the supporting establishment he served as a Warfighting Instructor and Staff Platoon Commander for three companies at The Basic School from May of 2006 to Aug of 2009.  Following his tour of duty at The Basic School, he attended the Expeditionary Warfare School, graduating in May of 2010.

Returning to the FMF in June of 2010 he reported to 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, as was assigned as the commander for Company G. He deployed in 2011 as the Helicopterborne Company for the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, participating in exercises in Thailand and Cambodia.  Following the March 11th, 2011 tsunami that struck the Japan he led his company during Operation TOMODACHI, providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. He again deployed with Company G in 2012 to the Musa Qala and Kajaki Districts of Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. Following his return from deployment he was assigned as the commander for Headquarters Company, 5th Marine Regiment.

As a Major in the supporting establishment he served as Inspector-Instructor, Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 25th Marines in Garden City, NY from July 2013 to June 2016. He subsequently attended the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, graduating with honors in June of 2017. 

Reassigned to FMF in July of 2017, he reported to 2d Battalion, 5th Marines for duty as the Battalion Executive Officer, deploying in April 2018 with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. Following his return from deployment in Nov of 2018 he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and assumed his current duties as the Operations Officer for 5th Marine Regiment.

His person decorations include the Bronze Star (with combat distinguishing device), The Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (gold star in lieu of second award), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon. He is a recipient of the 2012 Lieutenant Colonel William G. Leftwich, Jr. Trophy for his service while deployed to Afghanistan with Golf Co, 2d Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment.