- Commandant of the Marine Corps
Commandant of the Marine Corps
Gen James F. Amos
since: October 22, 2010
First Samuel Nicholas Formation November 28, 1775de facto,
July 12, 1798de jure
The Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC) is normally the highest ranking officer in the United States Marine Corps and is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The CMC reports directly to the United States Secretary of the Navy and is responsible for ensuring the organization, policy, plans, and programs for the Marine Corps as well as advising the President, the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council, and the Secretary of the Navy on matters involving the Marine Corps. Under the authority of the Secretary of the Navy, the CMC designates Marine personnel and resources to the commanders of Unified Combatant Commands. The commandant performs all other functions prescribed in Section 5043 in Title 10 of the United States Code or delegates those duties and responsibilities to other officers in his administration in his name. As with the other joint chiefs, the Commandant is an administrative position and has no operational command authority over United States Marine Corps forces.
The Commandant is nominated by the President for a four-year term of office and must be confirmed by the Senate. By statute, the Commandant is appointed as a four-star general while serving in office. "The Commandant is directly responsible to the Secretary of the Navy for the total performance of the Marine Corps. This includes the administration, discipline, internal organization, training, requirements, efficiency, and readiness of the service. The Commandant is also responsible for the operation of the Marine Corps material support system." Since 1801, the home of the Commandant has been located in the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C. and his main offices are in Arlington, Virginia.
The responsibilities of the Commandant are outlined in Title 10, Section 5043 the United States Code and is "Subject to the authority, direction, and control of the Secretary of the Navy". As stated in the U.S. Code, the Commandant shall preside over the Headquarters, Marine Corps, transmit the plans and recommendations of the Headquarters, Marine Corps, to the Secretary and advise the Secretary with regard to such plans and recommendations, after approval of the plans or recommendations of the Headquarters, Marine Corps, by the Secretary, act as the agent of the Secretary in carrying them into effect, exercise supervision, consistent with the authority assigned to commanders of unified or specified combatant commands under chapter 6 of this title, over such of the members and organizations of the Marine Corps and the Navy as the Secretary determines, perform the duties prescribed for him by section 171 of this title and other provisions of law and perform such other military duties, not otherwise assigned by law, as are assigned to him by the President, the Secretary of Defense, or the Secretary of the Navy.
List of commandants
Thirty-five  men have served as the Commandant of the Marine Corps, including the current Commandant James F. Amos. The first Commandant was Samuel Nicholas, who took office as a captain, though there was no office titled "Commandant" at the time, and the Second Continental Congress had authorized that the senior-most Marine could take a rank up to Colonel. The longest-serving was Archibald Henderson, sometimes referred to as the "Grand old man of the Marine Corps" due to his thirty-nine year tenure. In the 236-year history of the United States Marine Corps, only one Commandant has ever been fired from the job: Anthony Gale, as a result of a court-martial in 1820.
# Picture Name Rank Start of tenure End of tenure Notes 1 Samuel Nicholas Major November 28, 1775 August 27, 1783 The first de facto Commandant for his role as the senior-most officer of the Continental Marines. 2 William W. Burrows Lieutenant Colonel July 12, 1798 March 6, 1804 The first de jure Commandant, he started many important organizations within the Marine Corps, including the United States Marine Band 3 Franklin Wharton Lieutenant Colonel March 7, 1804 September 1, 1818 Was the first Commandant to occupy the Commandant's House at the Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. Archibald Henderson (acting) Major September 16, 1818 March 2, 1819 Acting Commandant, would later serve as Commandant from 1820 to 1859 4— Anthony Gale Lieutenant Colonel March 3, 1819 October 8, 1820 The only Commandant to be fired 5 Archibald Henderson Brevet Brigadier General October 17, 1820 January 6, 1859 The longest-serving Commandant; known as the "Grand old man of the Marine Corps"; known for his role in expanding the Marine Corps' mission to include expeditionary warfare and rapid deployment 6 John Harris Colonel January 7, 1859 May 1, 1864 Commandant during the start of the American Civil War 7 Jacob Zeilin Brigadier General June 10, 1864 October 31, 1876 Became the Marine Corps' first general officer, officially approved of the design of the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor as the emblem of the Marine Corps 8 Charles G. McCawley Colonel November 1, 1876 January 29, 1891 Chose "Semper Fidelis", Latin for "Always Faithful", as the official Marine Corps motto 9 Charles Heywood Major General June 30, 1891 October 2, 1903 Was the first Marine to hold the rank of Major General 10 George F. Elliott Major General October 3, 1903 November 30, 1910 Successfully resisted attempts to remove seagoing Marines from capital ships and to merge the Corps into the United States Army 11 William P. Biddle Major General February 3, 1911 February 24, 1914 Established the Advanced Base Force, forerunner of today's Fleet Marine Force 12 George Barnett Major General February 25, 1914 June 30, 1920 Served as Commandant during World War I, which caused a huge increase in personnel during his term 13 John A. Lejeune Major General July 1, 1920 March 4, 1929 Started the tradition of the birthday ball with Marine Corps Order 47, still read annually 14 Wendell C. Neville Major General March 5, 1929 July 8, 1930 Recipient of the Medal of Honor and Marine Corps Brevet Medal 15 Ben H. Fuller Major General July 9, 1930 February 28, 1933 Consolidated the Fleet Marine Force concept 16 John H. Russell, Jr. Major General March 1, 1934 November 30, 1936 The system of seniority promotions of officers was changed to advancement by selection, the 1st Marine Brigade was withdrawn from Haiti, and the number of ships carrying Marine detachments continued to increase. 17 Thomas Holcomb Lieutenant General December 1, 1936 December 31, 1943 Expanded the Corps almost 20 times in size for World War II and integrated women into the Corps. The first Marine to be advanced (after retirement) to the rank of General 18 Alexander A. Vandegrift General January 1, 1944 December 31, 1947 Recipient of the Medal of Honor. Was the first active duty Marine to hold the rank of General, resisted attempts to merge the Corps with the Army 19 Clifton B. Cates General January 1, 1948 December 31, 1951 Recipient of the Navy Cross 20 Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr. General January 1, 1952 December 31, 1955 First Commandant to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff 21 Randolph M. Pate General January 1, 1956 December 31, 1959 22 David M. Shoup General January 1, 1960 December 31, 1963 Recipient of the Medal of Honor 23 Wallace M. Greene, Jr. General January 1, 1964 December 31, 1967 Oversaw the proliferation of the Corps in the Vietnam War 24 Leonard F. Chapman, Jr. General January 1, 1968 December 31, 1971 Was the Commandant during the Vietnam War 25 Robert E. Cushman, Jr. General January 1, 1972 June 30, 1975 Saw the last of the Marines leave Vietnam and the peacetime strength fall to 194,000 while still maintaining readiness 26 Louis H. Wilson, Jr. General July 1, 1975 June 30, 1979 Recipient of the Medal of Honor 27 Robert H. Barrow General July 1, 1979 June 30, 1983 Was the first Commandant to serve a regular four-year tour as a full member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, acquired approval of production of the American-modified Harrier aircraft, and several other improvements to enhance the effectiveness of the Marine Corps 28 Paul X. Kelley General July 1, 1983 June 30, 1987 In 2007, General Kelley published in the Washington Post an opinion piece that had a negative opinion on the use of enhanced interrogation techniques 29 Alfred M. Gray, Jr. General July 1, 1987 June 30, 1991 The Alfred M. Gray Research Center at Marine Corps Base Quantico houses the Marine Corps Archives and Special Collections, the Quantico Base Library, and the research library for the Marine Corps University. 30 Carl E. Mundy, Jr. General July 1, 1991 June 30, 1995 Is currently on the board of directors for General Dynamics and is the Chairman of the Marine Corps University foundation 31 Charles C. Krulak General July 1, 1995 June 30, 1999 Was the son of Marine Corps Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak 32 James L. Jones General July 1, 1999 January 12, 2003 Oversaw the Marine Corps' development of MARPAT camouflage uniforms and the adoption of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program; later became the first Marine officer to serve as Commander, U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), then as National Security Advisor for the Obama Administration. 33 Michael W. Hagee General January 13, 2003 November 13, 2006 Guided the Corps through the initial years of the Iraq War 34 James T. Conway General November 14, 2006 October 22, 2010 Commanded Marines forces in the Iraq War and oversaw expansion of the Corps to 202,000 personnel 35 James F. Amos General October 22, 2010 Incumbent First United States Naval Aviator to serve as Commandant
- ^ a b c 10 U.S.C. § 151 Joint Chiefs of Staff: composition; functions.
- ^ 10 U.S.C. § 165 Combatant commands: administration and support
- ^ a b c d e 10 U.S.C. § 5043 Commandant of the Marine Corps
- ^ "Appendix A: How the Marines Are Organized" (PDF). Marine Corps Concepts and Programs 2006. United States Marine Corps. p. 252. http://www.usmc.mil/units/hqmc/pandr/Documents/Concepts/2006/PDF/Appendicies%202006%20PDFs/2006Appx%20A%20pg252-254%20Intro%20and%20HQMC.pdf. Retrieved 2007-05-06.
- ^ a b c d "Commandants of the U.S. Marine Corps". Historical Topics: Frequently Requested. Reference Branch, History Division, United States Marine Corps. http://www.tecom.usmc.mil/HD/Frequently_Requested/Commandants.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-21.
- ^ Journal of the Continental Congress (10 November 1775). "Resolution Establishing the Continental Marines". United States Marine Corps History Division. http://www.tecom.usmc.mil/HD/Docs_Speeches/Continentialcongressestmarines1775.htm. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
- ^ Hoffman, Col Jon T. (2002). Marine Corps Association. ed. USMC: A Complete History. Beth L. Crumley (illustration editor), Charles J. Ziga (design), Col John Greenwood (editor), James O. Muschett (editor). Hugh Lauter Levin Associates. ISBN 0-88363-650-6. http://www.mca-marines.org/gazette/bookindex02.asp.
- ^ Krivdo, Michael E. (4th quarter 2009). "Harpers Ferry: Last Action of "Henderson Era"". Fortitudine (Quantico, VA: United States Marine Corps Historical Program) 34 (4): pp. 7–11. ISBN 0-16-010404-1. http://bookstore.gpo.gov/actions/GetPublication.do?stocknumber=708-084-00000-0. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
- ^ Shea, Sgt Jimmy D. (22 October 2010). "Taking the Reins: Marine Corps Welcomes New Commandant". Headquarters Marine Corps. United States Marine Corps. http://www.marines.mil/unit/barracks/Pages/TakingthereinsMarineCorpswelcomesnewcommandant.aspx. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.
Leadership of the United States Marine Corps
- Allan Reed Millett and Jack Shulimson, ed (2004). Commandants of the Marine Corps. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 9780870210129. http://books.google.com/books?id=Qns8bW_SESYC.
CommandantsNicholas · Burrows · Wharton · Gale · Henderson · Harris · Zeilin · McCawley · Heywood · Elliott · Biddle · Barnett · Lejeune · Neville · Fuller · Russell · Holcomb · Vandegrift · Cates · Shepherd · Pate · Shoup · Greene · Chapman · Cushman · Wilson · Barrow · Kelley · Gray · Mundy · Krulak · Jones · Hagee · Conway · Amos
CommandantsCole · Lejeune · Long · Neville · Feland · Williams · Fuller · Myers · Russell · McDougal · Little · H. Smith · Vandegrift · Barrett · Keyser · Schmidt · Rockey · Peck · Turnage · Shepherd · O. Smith · Silverthorn · Thomas · Pate · Megee · McCaul · Munn · Hayes · Mangrum · Chapman · Walt · McCutcheon · R. Davis · Anderson · Jaskilka · Barrow · McLennan · Kelley · J. Davis · Morgan · Went · J. R. Dailey · Boomer · Hearney · Neal · Dake · Williams · Nyland · Magnus · Amos · Dunford
Sergeants Major Senior Officials in the United States Department of Defense
Under Secretaries of Defense:
Acquisition, Technology and Logistics: Frank Kendall III (Acting) • Policy: Michèle Flournoy • Comptroller/Chief Financial Officer: Robert Hale • Personnel and Readiness: Clifford Stanley • Intelligence: Michael Vickers
Chiefs of the Military Services:
Chief of Staff of the Army: Raymond Odierno • Commandant of the Marine Corps: James Amos • Chief of Naval Operations: Jonathan Greenert • Chief of Staff of the Air Force: Norton Schwartz
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