The commander of the Marine Corps’ School of Infantry-West and a second officer in charge of elite reconnaissance training there were fired last week, officials with the Marine’s Training and Education Command confirmed on Thursday.

Both Col. Seth W. MacCutcheon, commanding officer of the School of Infantry-West, and Maj. Nicholas Engle, the commander of the Reconnaissance Training Company at Camp Pendleton, California, were relieved of command on March 8, according to a statement sent to Task & Purpose by Marine spokesperson Maj. Joshua Pena.

Marine Brig. Gen. Farrell J. Sullivan relieved MacCutcheon and Engle “for loss of trust and confidence in their ability to execute the responsibilities of their commands,” Pena said.

No information was immediately available about the specific reasons why the two were fired. first reported on Thursday that MacCutcheon and Engle had both been fired.

“TRNGCMD [Training Command] is committed to ensuring leaders at all levels fulfill their duties to deliver the most highly qualified Marines to the operating forces safely and efficiently,” Pena said.

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All military branches use a variation of the phrase “loss of confidence” when commanders are relieved without providing the underlying reasons why they were fired. Media outlets can submit Freedom of Information requests to attempt to find out more information about why commanders are relieved, but the process can take months, if not longer.

Originally from Fort Lauderdale, MacCutcheon was commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program at Tulane University, Louisiana, according to his official biography. He made three deployments to Iraq three times and also deployed to Kosovo and the Republic of Georgia.

MacCutcheon’s previous assignments include serving as commander of Marine Corps Recruiting Station Atlanta; executive officer with 1st Battalion, 5th Marines; and commander of 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines.

He has attended the Marine Corps Command and Staff College in Quantico, Virginia, and the University of Haifa in Israel, from which he received a master’s degree in public policy.

His military awards include the Bronze Star Medal with “V” device for valor and the Meritorious Service Medal. Engle assumed command of the Reconnaissance Training Company in May 2023, according to his Linkedin page.

After graduating from The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, Engle served as a company commander for 1st Battalion, 8th Marines; a Force Reconnaissance platoon commander with 1st Force Reconnaissance Company; and an operations officer with 1st Reconnaissance Battalion.

The firings of Engle and MacCutcheon come after Sgt. Maj. Steven M. Burkett, the former command sergeant major for School of Infantry-West, was relieved in July.

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