Commanding Officer
Colonel James W. Lively
11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Colonel Lively is a native of Dallas, Texas. He received his commission in 1996 through the Platoon Leaders Course program after graduating from Texas A&M University with a BA in Psychology. Upon completion of The Basic School and the Infantry Officers Course in 1998, he served as a Weapons Platoon Commander and Headquarters and Service Company Commander in 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. During that tour, he deployed twice to Okinawa, Japan with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. From 2001 to 2004, Captain Lively was assigned to 1st Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team Company where he served as platoon commander, operations officer, and executive officer. During this tour, he deployed to Bahrain and conducted operations in support of Fifth Fleet/USNAVCENT.


Captain Lively then attended the Expeditionary Warfare School from 2004-2005 and was subsequently assigned to 2d Battalion, 2d Marines as Commanding Officer, Headquarters and Service Company and deployed to Al Karmah, Iraq in 2005. Following that deployment he returned to Iraq and served in Ramadi from 2006 to 2007 as a Military Transition Team leader and combat advisor to the 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division. Following that deployment, Major Lively was assigned as a Congressional Fellow to the U.S. House of Representatives. From 2009 to 2011 Major Lively served as an instructor at the Expeditionary Warfare School and then attended the French War College in Paris, France.


In 2013, Lieutenant Colonel Lively was assigned as the Operations Officer, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit where he deployed to Moron, Spain as the Operations Officer for Special Purpose MAGTF - Crisis Response. Upon return from that deployment he assumed command of 2d Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment and deployed as the Ground Combat Element for the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Following battalion command, Lieutenant Colonel Lively attended the National War College and was then assigned from 2017 to 2020 to the Operations Division at HQMC, Plans, Policies and Operations where he served as the Infantry Advocate and then, upon promotion to the rank of Colonel, assumed duties as the Ground Combat Element branch head.


Colonel Lively’s decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device, Purple Heart Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Meritorious Service Medal with gold star, the Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal with three gold stars, and the Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

11th MEU Leaders

Colonel James W. Lively
Commanding Officer

Colonel Lively is a native of Dallas, Texas. He received his commission in 1996 through the Platoon Leaders Course program after graduating from Texas A&M University with a BA in Psychology.

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Lieutenant Col. Le E. Nolan
Executive Officer

Lieutenant Colonel Nolan is a 2001 graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology and received his commission through Officer Candidate Class 180. After completing flight training as a CH-53E pilot, he reported to HMH-361 in MCAS Miramar.

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Sergeant Major Travis L. DeBarr
Sergeant Major

Sergeant Major DeBarrĀ enlisted in the Marine Corps and reported to MCRD San Diego, CA, for recruit training in October 1994.

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11th Marine Expeditionary Unit