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James L. Jones, Jr.

General James L. Jones, Jr., USMC (Ret.)
32nd Commandant of the Marine Corps

Assumed office 
January 20, 2009
President Barack Obama
Deputy Thomas E. Donilon
Preceded by Stephen Hadley

Born December 19, 1943 (1943-12-19) (age 66)
Kansas City, Missouri
Profession U.S. Marine, Diplomat
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1967-2007
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands 3rd Battalion 9th Marines
24th Marine Expeditionary Unit
2nd Marine Division
Commandant of the Marine Corps
United States European Command &
Supreme Allied Commander, Europe
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Gulf War
Awards Defense Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Silver Star
Legion of Merit (5)
Bronze Star
French Légion d'honneur
French Ordre national du Mérite
Portugal Order of Aviz
Canadian Meritorious Service Cross
NATO Meritorious Service Medal

James Logan Jones Jr. (born December 19, 1943) is the current United States National Security Advisor and a retired United States Marine Corps four-star general.

During his military career, he served as Commander, United States European Command (COMUSEUCOM) and Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) from 2003 to 2006 and as the 32nd Commandant of the Marine Corps from July 1999 to January 2003. Jones retired from the Marine Corps on February 1, 2007, after 40 years of service.

After retiring from the Marine Corps, Jones remained involved in national security and foreign policy issues. In 2007, Jones served as chairman of the Congressional Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq, which investigated the capabilities of the Iraqi police and armed forces. In November 2007, he was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of State as special envoy for Middle East security. He served as chairman of the Atlantic Council of the United States from June 2007 to January 2009, when he assumed the post of National Security Advisor.


Early life

James Logan Jones Jr. was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He is the son of James L. Jones, Sr., a decorated Marine in World War II who was an officer in the Observer Group and the commanding officer of its successor, the Amphibious Reconnaissance Battalion. Having spent his formative years in France, where he attended the American School of Paris,[1][2] he returned to the United States to attend the Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, from which he received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1966. Jones, who is six feet four inches (1.93 m) tall, played forward on the Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball team.[3]

Military career


Early career

In January 1967, Jones was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. Upon completion of The Basic School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, in October 1967, he was ordered to the Republic of Vietnam, where he served as a platoon and company commander with Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines. While overseas, he was promoted to first lieutenant in June 1968.

Returning to the United States in December 1968, Jones was assigned to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, where he served as a company commander until May 1970. He then received orders to Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., for duties as a company commander, serving in this assignment until July 1973. While at this post (December 1970) he was promoted to captain. From July 1973 until June 1974, he was a student at the Amphibious Warfare School, Marine Corps University, MCB Quantico, Virginia.

In November 1974, he received orders to report to the 3rd Marine Division at MCB Camp Butler, Okinawa, Japan, where he served as the commander of Company H, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, until December 1975.

From January 1976 to August 1979, Jones served in the Officer Assignments Section at Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C. During this assignment, he was promoted to major in July 1977. Remaining in Washington, his next assignment was as the Marine Corps liaison officer to the United States Senate, where he served until July 1984. In this assignment, his first commander was John McCain, then a U.S. Navy captain.[3] He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in September 1982

Senior staff and command

He was selected to attend the National War College in Washington, D.C. Following graduation in June 1985, he was assigned to command the 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, 1st Marine Division, at Camp Pendleton, California, from July 1985 to July 1987.

In August 1987, Jones returned to Headquarters Marine Corps, where he served as senior aide to the commandant of the Marine Corps. He was promoted to colonel in April 1988, and became the military secretary to the commandant in February 1989. During August 1990, Jones was assigned as the commanding officer of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (24th MEU) at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. During his tour with the 24th MEU, he participated in Operation Provide Comfort in Northern Iraq and Turkey. He was advanced to brigadier general on April 23, 1992. Jones was assigned to duties as deputy director, J-3, U.S European Command, Stuttgart, Germany, on July 15, 1992. During this tour of duty, he was reassigned as chief of staff, Joint Task Force Provide Promise, for operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Republic of Macedonia.

Returning to the United States, he was advanced to the rank of major general in July 1994 and was assigned as commanding general, 2nd Marine Division, Marine Forces Atlantic, MCB Camp Lejeune. Jones next served as director, Expeditionary Warfare Division (N85), Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, during 1996, then as the deputy chief of staff for plans, policies, and operations, Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C. He was advanced to lieutenant general on July 18, 1996. His next assignment was as the military assistant to the Secretary of Defense.


Change of Command ceremony, 13 January 2003. SgtMaj Alford McMichael (left) salutes as General Jones (center) relinquishes command to General Michael Hagee (right).
Photo credit: Sgt. Brandon P. O'Brien, USMC.

On April 21, 1999, he was nominated for appointment to the grade of general and assignment as the 32nd commandant of the Marine Corps. He was promoted to general on June 30, 1999, and assumed the post on July 1, 1999. He served as commandant until January 2003, turning over the reins to General Michael Hagee.[4]

Among other innovations during his career as Marine Corps commandant, Jones oversaw the Marine Corps' development of MARPAT camouflage uniforms, and the adoption of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP). These replaced M81 Woodland uniforms and the LINE combat system, respectively.


Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz (left) and Jones at press conference on Jones' assumption of command of EUCOM.
Photo credit:DoD photo by Maria Higgins.

Jones assumed duties as the commander of U.S. European Command on January 16, 2003, and supreme allied commander Europe the following day. He was the first Marine Corps general to serve as SACEUR/EUCOM commander.

The Marine Corps had only recently begun to take on a larger share of high-level assignments in the Department of Defense. As of December 2006, Jones was one of five serving Marine Corps four-star general officers who outranked the current commandant of the Marine Corps (General James T. Conway) in terms of seniority and time in grade — the others being Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Peter Pace; former commandant Michael Hagee, commander of U.S. Strategic Command James E. Cartwright, and Assistant Commandant Robert Magnus.[5]

As SACEUR, Jones led the Allied Command Operations (ACO), comprising NATO’s military forces in Europe, from the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Mons, Belgium, Jones relinquished command as SACEUR on December 7, 2006, and was succeeded by U.S. Army Gen. John Craddock.[6]

Jones was reported to have declined an opportunity to succeed Gen. John P. Abizaid as commander of U.S. Central Command,[7] and stepped down as SACEUR on December 4, 2006. He retired from the Marine Corps on February 1, 2007.[6]

Awards and decorations

Jones' personal decorations include (Foreign and non-U.S. personal and unit decorations are in order of precedence based on military guidelines and award date):

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
US - Joint Chiefs.png
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Silver star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
First row Defense Distinguished Service Medal w/ 2 oak leaf clusters Silver Star Legion of Merit w/ 4 award stars Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
Second row Bronze Star w/ valor device Combat Action Ribbon Navy Presidential Unit Citation Joint Meritorious Unit Award w/ 2 oak leaf clusters
Third row Navy Unit Commendation Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation w/ 3 service stars National Defense Service Medal w/ 2 service stars Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Fourth row Vietnam Service Medal w/ 4 service stars Southwest Asia Service Medal w/ 1 service star Armed Forces Service Medal Humanitarian Service Medal
Fifth row Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon w/ 7 service stars Navy & Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon w/ 1 service star NATO Meritorious Service Medal Vietnam Gallantry Cross w/ bronze star
Sixth row Legion of Honor, Commander National Order of Merit, Officier Meritorious Service Cross, post-nominal: M.S.C.[8] Military Order of Italy, Commander
Seventh row Military Order of the Cross of the Eagle, 1st Class[9] Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas, Commander's Grand Cross[10] Military Order of Aviz, Grand Cross[11] Vietnam Gallantry Cross unit citation
Eighth row Vietnam Civil Actions unit citation NATO Medal for Yugoslavia Vietnam Campaign Medal Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

Post-military career

Business roles

Following his retirement from the military, Jones became president of the Institute for 21st Century Energy,[12] an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce;[12] served as chair of the board of directors of the Atlantic Council of the United States from June 2007[13] until January 2009 when he assumed the post of National Security Advisor.[14] He also served as a member of the guiding coalition for the Project on National Security Reform, as well as chairman of the Independent Commission on Security Forces of Iraq.[15]

Jones was a member of the Board of directors of The Boeing Company from June 21, 2007 to December 15, 2008, serving on the company's Audit and Finance Committees.[16][17]

Jones was a member of the Board of directors of Cross Match Technologies, a privately held biometric solutions company, from October 2007 to January 2009. [18] [19]

Jones was a member of the Board of directors of Chevron Corporation from May 28, 2008 to December 5, 2008, serving on the Board Nominating and Governance and Public Policy Committees.[20][21] [22]

According to the first report since he re-entered government service in January 2009, Jones earned salary and bonus of $900,000 from the U.S. Chamber, as well as director fees of $330,000 from the Boeing Company and $290,000 from Chevron Corporation.[23]

Diplomatic roles

Then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asked Jones twice to be Deputy Secretary of State after Robert Zoellick resigned. He declined.[24]

On May 25, 2007, Congress created an Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq to investigate for 120 days the capabilities of the Iraq armed forces and police.[25] Jones served as chairman of that commission and reported on Congress on September 6, 2007[26] noting serious deficiencies in the Iraq Interior Ministry and in the Iraq National Police.

Rice appointed Jones as a special envoy for Middle East security on November 28, 2007, working with Israelis and Palestinians to strengthen security for both sides.[27] [28]

National Security Advisor

Jones shakes hands with President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai.

On December 1, 2008 then-President-elect Obama announced Jones as his selection for National Security Advisor.[29][30] The National Security Advisor is appointed by the President without confirmation by the United States Senate.

The pick surprised people because, as Michael Crowley reported "The two men didn't meet until Obama's foreign policy aide, Mark Lippert, arranged a 2005 sit-down, and, as of this October, Jones had only spoken to Obama twice."[31]

Crowley speculated that Jones' record suggests he is "someone who, unencumbered by strong ideological leanings, can evaluate ideas dispassionately whether they come from left or right," and, "This is probably why Obama picked him." Jones was also picked because he is well-respected and likely to possess the skills to navigate the other prestigious and powerful cabinet members. "He does not appear to be a natural antagonist of anyone else on the team. Though he doesn't know Gates especially well, both men share long experience in the national security establishment (Gates was in the Air Force and previously headed the CIA). Jones and Clinton have a more direct connection, having bonded — as Hillary did with many military officials — during her tenure on the Senate Armed Services Committee. The two are said to have particularly clicked at a 2005 conference on security policy in Munich. Jones hosted a small private dinner that included Clinton and South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, among others; at the end of the convivial evening, according to one person present, Jones followed Clinton out to her car to exchange private words. (Jones's relationship with Susan Rice remains a question mark.)"[31]

Jones assumed the post when Obama was sworn into office on January 20, 2009.

Personal style

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen, who hired Jones as his military assistant, is quoted as saying Jones has a placid demeanor and a “methodical approach to problems — he’s able to view issues at both the strategic and tactical level.”[32] While Commandant of the Marine Corps, Jones often signed emails as "Rifleman", as he served as an infantry officer.

See also


  1. ^ Wallechinsky, David (7 January 2009). "National Security Advisor: Who is James L. (Revolving Door) Jones?". Huffington Post. Retrieved 9 February 2009. 
  2. ^ Sorensen, Ted. Interview with Duncan Campbell. Episode 58: Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History (Podcast). Living Dialogues. 23 July 2008. Retrieved on 2008-12-02.
  3. ^ a b King, Jr, Neil (23 April 2007). "The Courting of General Jones — Candidates From Both Parties Woo Policy-Savvy Ex-Marine". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  4. ^ "Public Directory of: U.S. Marine Corps General Officers & Senior Executives" (Microsoft Word). Senior Leader Management Branch (MMSL), Manpower & Reserve Affairs, United States Marine Corps. 6 December 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-06. 
  5. ^ a b "General JOHN CRADDOCK will be the new commander". SHAPE News (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), NATO). 4 December 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-06. 
  6. ^ Ignatius, David (November 9, 2006). "The Defense Secretary We Had, Tough — and Unaccountable". Washington Post: p. A29. Retrieved November 18, 2006. 
  7. ^ Governor General of Canada (6 February 2007). "Governor General announces the awarding of Military Valour Decorations, Meritorious Service Decorations and a Mention in Dispatches". Press release. Retrieved December 2, 2008. 
  8. ^ "President Ilves vähendas medalisadu ligi kolm korda" (in Estonian). Eesti Ekspress. 7 February 2007. Retrieved November 30, 2008. 
  9. ^ President of the Republic of Lithuania. State Decorations
  10. ^ "Decorations to foreign citizens" (in Portuguese). Portuguese Chancellor of Honorary Orders. 10 September 2006. Retrieved November 30, 2008. 
  11. ^ a b "Institute for 21st Century Energy". United States Chamber of Commerce. 
  12. ^ Atlantic Council of the United States (May 18, 2007). "General James L. Jones USMC (ret.) Elected Chairman of The Atlantic Council Board of Directors" (PDF). Press release. Retrieved November 30, 2008. 
  13. ^ "Farewell and Congratulations to General Jones". Atlantic Council of the United States. January 13, 2009. Retrieved 20 January. 
  14. ^ Jones, James L. (September 12, 2007). "Remarks by General (ret.) James L. Jones at the Atlantic Council of the United States". Public Remarks. Atlantic Council of the United States. 
  15. ^ "Definitive Notice and Proxy Statement". The Boeing Company. 2008. 
  16. ^ "Boeing Director Gen. James Jones Resigns Board Seat". The Boeing Company. December 15, 2008. 
  17. ^ "Board of Directors: General James L. Jones". Cross Match Technologies. October 2007. Retrieved December 12, 2008. 
  18. ^ Cross Match Technologies (January 15, 2009). "Cross Match Announces General James L. Jones, USMC (Ret.) Resigns from Board of Directors". Press release. Retrieved January 15, 2009. 
  19. ^ Brown, Steven E.F. (26 March 2008). "Former USMC Commandant Jones nominated to Chevron board". San Francisco Business Times (Biz Journals). Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  20. ^ "Board of Directors: General James L. Jones". Chevron. July 2008. Retrieved August 24, 2008. 
  21. ^ "Enrique Hernandez Jr. Elected to Chevron Board of Directors; Gen. James L. Jones Resigns Following National Security Adviser Appointment". Chevron. December 2008. Retrieved December 10, 2008. 
  22. ^ "Hedge Fund Paid Summers $5.2 Million in Past Year" by John D. McKinnon and F. W. Farnum,, April 4, 2009. Retrieved 4/5/09.
  23. ^ WSJ Capital Bureau (November 21, 2006). "Potential Deputies to Rice: No Thanks" (Blog). Washington Wire. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 11, 2008. 
  24. ^ P.L. 110-28 § 1314(e)(2).
  25. ^ Jones, General James L., USMC (retired) (Chairman) (6 September 2007). "The Report of the Independent Security Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-09-20. 
  26. ^ Rice, Condoleezza (28 November 2007). "Announcement of General James Jones as Special Envoy for Middle East Security" (Public statement). Secretary Rice's Remarks. Washington, D.C.: United States Department of State. Retrieved 2007-11-29. 
  27. ^ Zacharia, Janine (28 November 2007). "Former NATO Commander Jones Named U.S. Mideast Envoy". Bloomberg. Retrieved November 5, 2008. 
  28. ^ The Office of the President Elect (1 December 2008). "Key members of Obama-Biden national security team announced". Press release. Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  29. ^ "Obama names Clinton to top role in his team". Politics. Associated Press (MSNBC). 1 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  30. ^ a b Crowley, Michael (December 31, 2008). "Man in the Mirror". The New Republic. Retrieved January 12, 2008. 
  31. ^ Barry, John; Ephron, Dan; Wolffe, Richard (8 December 2008). "The General’s Marching Orders". Newsweek. Retrieved November 30, 2008. 
  32. ^ Hughes, LtCol Richard J., USAF (Summer 2008). "Book Review: Boys of ’67: From Vietnam to Iraq, the Extraordinary Story of a Few Good Men by Charles Jones. Stackpole Books". Air & Space Power Journal. Retrieved 14 January 2009. 


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Government.

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Stephen Hadley
United States National Security Advisor
January 20, 2009-present
Succeeded by
Military offices
Preceded by
Gen. Charles C. Krulak
Commandant of the United States Marine Corps
Succeeded by
Gen. Michael W. Hagee
Preceded by
Gen. Joseph Ralston
Supreme Allied Commander Europe (NATO)
Succeeded by
Gen. John Craddock


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