Leaders
Commanding Officer, SPMAGTF-CR-CC
Colonel Kenneth R. Kassner

 A Texan born and raised, Colonel Kassner commissioned via the Naval ROTC program as a Second Lieutenant in July 1991. After graduating with Honors from The Basic School and completing the Infantry Officers’ Course, he was assigned to the 1st Marine Division’s 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, where he served as a Rifle and Weapons Platoon Commander and Company Executive Officer in Company G and deployed with the 11th MEU (Special Operations Capable) in support of contingency operations to Somalia.

From 1995 to 1998, Captain Kassner made Marines at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot--San Diego, where he served as a Series and Company Commander and as the Recruit Training Regiment’s Assistant Operations Officer. After graduating from the Marine Corps’ Amphibious Warfare School with Honors in 1999, he transferred to 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines and commanded Company G during its deployment with the 26th MEU(SOC) throughout the Mediterranean Sea region and the Balkans. Upon returning from that deployment, he became the Battalion’s Operations Officer and was promoted to Major.

 In July 2001, Major Kassner was assigned to the University of Texas at Austin Naval ROTC program as the Marine Officer Instructor. In May 2004 he returned to the 1st Marine Division as the Executive Officer, 3d Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion--the WOLFPACK. As the Battalion’s XO, he completed two combat deployments in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.

In November 2006 he reported to the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, where he promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and served as the Chief of Training/Operations. 

 In July 2008, Lieutenant Colonel Kassner returned to 3d LAR Battalion as the Commanding Officer. In 2009 he led the Battalion during its final deployment to Iraq, then, in 2010 he made his fourth consecutive deployment with the WOLFPACK, leading the Battalion in combat throughout the southern Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

In June 2011, he reported to the U.S. Army War College. Following graduation in July 2012, he assumed the duties as the Assistant Chief of Staff, G8 (Programming and Requirements) at the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command (MARSOC). In September 2013 he promoted to the rank of Colonel.

In June 2015, Col Kassner assumed duties as the Commanding Officer of the Fifth Marine Regiment.

In February 2016, he assumed the duties as the Commanding Officer of the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command 16.2.

Colonel Kassner studied German at the University of Texas at Austin, completed a degree in Political Science at the University of Houston, earned a Master of Arts in International Relations from the University of San Diego, and a Masters of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

His personal decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal (3rd award) with Combat Distinguishing Device for Valor, the Purple Heart Medal (2nd award), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2nd award), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon (2nd award), and several expeditionary and campaign medals.