- List of United States Marine Corps four-star generals
There have been sixty-two (62) four-star generals in the history of the U.S. Marine Corps. Forty-four (44) were originally promoted to that grade while on the active list, seventeen (17) were promoted upon retirement in recognition of combat citations, and one was promoted posthumously.
As of August 17, 2008, there are four active-duty Marine Corps four-star generals — of these, General
James E. Cartwright, the current Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has the longest time in grade — advanced on September 1, 2004.Public Directory of the United States Marine Corps General Officers and Senior Executives (August 17, 2008), Senior Leader Management Branch, United States Marine Corps.]
List of generals
By the Act of 21 March, 1945, Congress permitted the President to appoint the
Commandant of the Marine Corpsto the grade of general. Alexander A. Vandegrift, then Commandant, was promoted from lieutenant general to general on 4 April, 1945, to rank from 21 March, of that year. He thus became the first Marine to serve in the grade of general. The Office of the Commandant was permanently fixed at the grade of four-star general under authority of the Act of 7 August, 1947. All Commandants since that date have been entitled by law to serve in the grade of general and, in accordance with the provisions of 10 USC 5201, to retire in that grade.
In April 1969, the Senate passed and sent a bill to the
White Housethat makes the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corpsa four-star general when the active duty strength of the Marine Corps exceeds 200,000. On 5 May, 1969, President Nixon signed the bill, and Lieutenant General Lewis W. Waltwas promoted to that rank on 2 June, 1969, thus becoming the first Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps to attain four-star rank. Legislation allowing the Assistant Commandant to wear the four-star insignia regardless of the strength of the Marine Corps was approved by President Ford on 4 March, 1976.
On 22 November, 1985, General
George B. Cristwas promoted to four-star rank and on 27 November, he assumed the position of Commander in Chief of U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. His appointment marked the first time a Marine headed a unified command and the first time the Corps had three four-star generals on active duty at the same time. Since 1985, a number of Marines have served in joint positions holding four-star rank, and it is no longer uncommon for the Corps to have four or five four-star generals on active duty at the same time.
In 2005, General
Peter Pacebecame the first Marine to be appointed as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the chief military advisor to the President of the United States and most senior appointment in the United States military.
The following list of four-star generals is sortable by last name, date of rankDates of rank are taken, where available, from the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps register of active and retired commissioned officers.] , number of years on active duty at four-star rank (Yrs) The number of years on active duty at four-star rank is approximated by subtracting the year in the "Date of rank" column from the last year in the "Position" column.] , year commissioned, and number of years in commission when promoted to four-star rank (YC) The number of years in commission before being promoted to four-star rank is approximated by subtracting the year in the "Commission" column from the year in the "Date of rank" column.] .
The Act of Congress of March 4, 1925 allowed officers in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard to be promoted one grade upon retirement if they had been specially commended for performance of duty in actual combat. Combat citation promotions were colloquially known as "tombstone promotions" because they conferred the prestige of the higher rank, but not the additional retirement pay, so their only practical benefit was to allow recipients to engrave a loftier title on their business cards and tombstones. The Act of Congress of February 23, 1942 enabled tombstone promotions to three- and four-star grades. Tombstone promotions were subsequently restricted to citations issued before January 1, 1947, and finally eliminated altogether effective November 1, 1959.
Any general who actually served in a grade while on active duty receives precedence on the retirement list over any tombstone general holding the same retired grade. Tombstone generals rank among each other according to the dates of their highest active duty grade.
The following list of tombstone generals is sortable by last name, date of rank as lieutenant general, date retired, and year commissioned.
The standard tour length for the
Commandant of the Marine Corpsis four years; two years for the Assistant Commandant; for a combatant commander, three years; and a total of four years served in consecutive two-year terms for the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. ImageSize = width:800 height:auto barincrement:10PlotArea = top:10 bottom:50 right:130 left:20AlignBars = late
DateFormat = yyyyPeriod = from:1940 till:2020TimeAxis = orientation:horizontalScaleMajor = unit:year increment:10 start:1940
Define $now = 2009
Colors = id:jcs value:rgb(0,0,0)
LineData = layer:back width:0.1 color:time at:1950 at:1960 at:1970 at:1980 at:1990 at:2000 at:2010 at:2020
BarData = barset:PM bar:vandegrift bar:cates bar:shepherd bar:pate bar:shoup bar:greene bar:chapman bar:walt bar:mccutcheon bar:raymonddavis bar:cushman bar:anderson bar:wilson bar:jaskilka bar:barrow bar:mclennan bar:kelley bar:johndavis bar:crist bar:morgan bar:gray bar:went bar:dailey bar:mundy bar:hoar bar:boomer bar:hearney bar:sheehan bar:krulak bar:neal bar:zinni bar:wilhelm bar:dake bar:jones bar:fulford bar:pace bar:williams bar:nyland bar:hagee bar:cartwright bar:magnus bar:conway bar:mattis bar:amos
PlotData= width:6 align:left fontsize:S shift:(5,-4) anchor:till barset:PM
bar:vandegrift from: 1945 till: 1948 color:cmc text:"
Alexander A. Vandegrift" bar:cates from: 1948 till: 1952 color:cmc text:" Clifton B. Cates" bar:shepherd from: 1952 till: 1956 color:cmc bar:shepherd from: 1956 till: 1959 color:usmc text:" Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr." bar:pate from: 1956 till: 1960 color:cmc text:" Randolph M. Pate" bar:shoup from: 1960 till: 1964 color:cmc text:" David M. Shoup" bar:greene from: 1964 till: 1968 color:cmc text:" Wallace M. Greene Jr." bar:chapman from: 1968 till: 1972 color:cmc text:" Leonard F. Chapman Jr." bar:walt from: 1969 till: 1971 color:acmc text:" Lewis W. Walt" bar:mccutcheon from: 1971 till: 1971 color:acmc text:" Keith B. McCutcheon" bar:raymonddavis from: 1971 till: 1972 color:acmc text:" Raymond G. Davis" bar:cushman from: 1972 till: 1975 color:cmc text:" Robert E. Cushman Jr." bar:anderson from: 1972 till: 1975 color:acmc text:" Earl E. Anderson" bar:wilson from: 1975 till: 1979 color:cmc text:" Louis H. Wilson Jr." bar:jaskilka from: 1976 till: 1978 color:acmc text:" Samuel Jaskilka" bar:barrow from: 1978 till: 1979 color:acmc bar:barrow from: 1979 till: 1983 color:cmc text:" Robert H. Barrow" bar:mclennan from: 1979 till: 1981 color:acmc text:" Kenneth McLennan" bar:kelley from: 1981 till: 1983 color:acmc bar:kelley from: 1983 till: 1987 color:cmc text:" Paul X. Kelley" bar:johndavis from: 1983 till: 1986 color:acmc text:" John K. Davis" bar:crist from: 1985 till: 1988 color:usmc text:" George B. Crist" bar:morgan from: 1986 till: 1988 color:acmc text:" Thomas R. Morgan" bar:gray from: 1987 till: 1991 color:cmc text:" Alfred M. Gray, Jr." bar:went from: 1988 till: 1990 color:acmc text:" Joseph J. Went" bar:dailey from: 1990 till: 1992 color:acmc text:" John R. Dailey" bar:mundy from: 1991 till: 1995 color:cmc text:" Carl E. Mundy Jr." bar:hoar from: 1991 till: 1994 color:usmc text:" Joseph P. Hoar" bar:boomer from: 1992 till: 1994 color:acmc text:" Walter E. Boomer" bar:hearney from: 1994 till: 1996 color:acmc text:" Richard D. Hearney" bar:sheehan from: 1994 till: 1997 color:usmc text:" John J. Sheehan" bar:krulak from: 1995 till: 1999 color:cmc text:" Charles C. Krulak" bar:neal from: 1996 till: 1998 color:acmc text:" Richard I. Neal" bar:zinni from: 1997 till: 2000 color:usmc text:" Anthony C. Zinni" bar:wilhelm from: 1997 till: 2000 color:usmc text:" Charles E. Wilhelm" bar:dake from: 1998 till: 2000 color:acmc text:" Terrence R. Dake" bar:jones from: 1999 till: 2003 color:cmc bar:jones from: 2003 till: 2006 color:usmc text:" James L. Jones" bar:fulford from: 2000 till: 2002 color:usmc text:" Carlton W. Fulford Jr." bar:pace from: 2000 till: 2001 color:usmc bar:pace from: 2001 till: 2007 color:jcs text:" Peter Pace" bar:williams from: 2000 till: 2002 color:acmc text:" Michael J. Williams" bar:nyland from: 2002 till: 2005 color:acmc text:" William L. Nyland" bar:hagee from: 2003 till: 2006 color:cmc text:" Michael W. Hagee" bar:cartwright from: 2004 till: 2007 color:usmc bar:cartwright from: 2007 till: $now color:jcs text:" James E. Cartwright" bar:magnus from: 2005 till: 2008 color:acmc text:" Robert Magnus" bar:conway from: 2006 till: $now color:cmc text:" James T. Conway" bar:mattis from: 2007 till: $now color:usmc text:" James N. Mattis" bar:amos from: 2008 till: $now color:acmc text:" James F. Amos"
:"This article incorporates
public domaintext from the United States Marine Corps."
last = Marine Corps History Division
title = Commandants of the U.S. Marine Corps
url = http://www.tecom.usmc.mil/HD/Frequently_Requested/Commandants.htm
last = Marine Corps History Division
title = Four-Star Generals of the Marine Corps
url = http://www.tecom.usmc.mil/HD/Frequently_Requested/Four_Star_Generals.htm
last = Marine Corps History Division
title = Marine Corps Assistant Commandants
url = http://www.tecom.usmc.mil/HD/Frequently_Requested/Assistant_Commandant.htm
last = Marine Corps History Division
title = Who's Who in Marine Corps History
url = http://www.tecom.usmc.mil/HD/Whos_Who.htm
last = United States Marine Corps Manpower & Reserve Affairs
title = Biographies: General Officers & Senior Executives
url = https://slsp.manpower.usmc.mil/gosa/biographies/default.asp
last = United States Marine Corps Officer Candidates School
title = History of Officer Candidates School
url = http://www.ocs.usmc.mil/CommandInformation/History.html
last = U.S. Bureau of Naval Personnel
title = Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps
place = Washington D.C.
publisher = Department of the Navy
year = 1950-1959
magazine = TIME Magazine
title = Generals' Exodus
url = http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,825884,00.html
date = September 07, 1959
year = 1959
General (United States)
List of United States four-star officers
List of United States Army four-star generals
List of United States Navy four-star admirals
List of United States Air Force four-star generals
List of United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps four-star admirals
List of United States military leaders by rank
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