Commanding Officer Combat Logistics Battalion 5
Lieutenant Colonel J.F. Soto Jr.

Born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas; LtCol Soto attended The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina. Upon graduation from The Citadel in 2001, he was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. He reported to The Basic School (TBS) in 2002 and was designated as a Logistics Officer.

Following TBS, he attended the Logistics Officer Basic Course and reported to 2d Transportation Support Battalion (2d TSB), 2d FSSG from 2003 to 2004 where he served as a Landing Support Platoon Commander and Arrival and Departure Airfield Control Group (A/DACG) Officer-in-Charge at Al-Asad and Al-Taqaddum, Iraq in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. He also served as the Battalion Logistics Officer (S-4), and Headquarters & Service Company Commander during his assignment from 2005 to 2006.

Following 2d TSB, he was assigned as an Officer Selection Officer (OSO) and reported to Marine Corps Recruiting Station Columbia (MCRS Columbia), South Carolina from 2006 to 2009.

From 2009 to 2010, he attended the Expeditionary Warfare School (EWS) in Quantico, Virginia. He also attended the Tactical MAGTF Integration Course (TMIC) at Marine Corps Tactical Operations Group (MCTOG) in 29 Palms, California and was designated an Operations and Tactics Instructor (OTI) during this period.

Following graduation from EWS, he was assigned as the Battalion Logistics Officer for 1st Battalion, 8th Marines (1/8) from 2010 to 2011 and deployed to Musa Qa’leh, Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. Following his tour with 1/8, he was assigned to the 2d Marine Division Staff (2dMarDiv), G4 where he served as the G4, Operations and Plans Officer and the G4, Operations Officer. He served as the Division’s Remain Behind Element Regiment (RBE) Operations Officer from 2011 to 2012 and from 2012 to 2013, he served as the Regimental Logistics Officer for 8th Marine Regiment.

From 2013 to 2016, he was assigned to United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), J4; where he served as the Current Operations desk officer for the Levant region and as the J4 Battle Captain in the Operations Division. He was selected to serve as the OCONUS Travel Planner for General Lloyd Austin, USA, Commander, United States Central Command (CDRUSCENTCOM) from 2015 to 2016. He completed his USCENTCOM tour as the Aide de Camp (ADC) to the Commander for General Joseph Votel, USA, CDRUSCENTCOM.

From 2016 to 2017, he attended Marine Corps Command and Staff College (CSC) at the United States Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia where he was designated a Distinguished Graduate and obtained a Master’s Degree of Military Science.

Upon graduation from CSC, he was assigned to III MEF AC/S G4, in July 2017, where he served as the Oceania and Southeast Asia Logistics Planner in addition to serving as the lead MEF logistician in support of Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations (EABO) and Pacific Plans. He completed his III MEF tour as the G4, Ops and Plans Branch OIC

LtCol Soto’s personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with 4 Gold Stars, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with 2 Gold Stars. He is a graduate of the Tactical Logistics Officers Course (TLOC), the Joint Logistics Officers Course, the Joint Combined Warfighting School (JCWS), and is a First-Degree Black Belt in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP). He is also designated as a Joint Qualified Officer (JQO).

1st Marine Logistics Group