John F. Kelly: Wikis


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John F. Kelly
Kelly John F, USMC.jpg
Major General John F. Kelly
Place of birth Boston, Massachusetts
Allegiance United States of America United States
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1970 – present
Rank Major General
Commands held 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion
Multi-National Force— West
Battles/wars Desert Storm,Iraq War

John F. Kelly, United States Marine Corps, is the current Commanding General of the Multi-National Force—West in Iraq. Major General Kelly has served in the Marine Corps since 1970, first as an enlisted Marine and since 1976 as an officer.



BGen John F. Kelly (left) testifies in front of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee in November 2005.

John F. Kelly was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1970, and was discharged as a Sergeant in 1972, after serving in an infantry company with the 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Following graduation from the University of Massachusetts in 1976, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps.[1]

Kelly returned to the 2nd Marine Division where he served as a rifle and weapons platoon commander, company executive officer, assistant operations officer, and infantry company commander. Sea duty in Mayport, Florida, followed, at which time he served aboard aircraft carriers USS Forrestal (CV-59) and USS Independence (CV-62). In 1980, then-Captain Kelly attended the U.S. Army's Infantry Officer Advanced Course in Fort Benning, Georgia. After graduation, he was assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps in Washington, D.C., serving there from 1981 through 1984, as an assignment monitor. Captain Kelly returned to the 2nd Marine Division in 1984, to command a rifle and weapons company. Promoted to the rank of major in 1987, he served as the battalion's operations officer.[1]

In 1987, Kelly transferred to the Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, serving first as the head of the Offensive Tactics Section, Tactics Group, and later assuming the duties of the Director of the Infantry Officer Course. After three years of instructing young officers, he attended the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the School for Advanced Warfare, both located at Quantico.[1]

Completing duty under instruction and selected for Lieutenant Colonel, he was assigned as Commanding Officer, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California. Holding this command position for two years, Kelly returned to the East Coast in 1994, to attend the National War College in Washington, D.C. He graduated in 1995, and was selected to serve as the Commandant's Liaison Officer to the U.S. House of Representatives, Capitol Hill, where he was promoted to the rank of Colonel.[1]

Kelly promotion to brigadier general in Iraq. March 2003.

In 1999, Kelly transferred to joint duty and served as the Special Assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, in Mons, Belgium. He returned to the United States in 2001, and was assigned to a third tour of duty at Camp Lejeune, now as the Assistant Chief of Staff G-3 with the 2nd Marine Division. In 2002, Colonel Kelly again served with the 1st Marine Division, this time as the Assistant Division Commander. Much of Kelly's two-year assignment was spent deployed in Iraq.[1] In March 2003, while in Iraq, Kelly was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General, which was the first known promotion of a Marine Corps Colonel to Brigadier General in an active combat zone since that of another 1st Division ADC, Chesty Puller[2] in January 1951.[3] In mid-April, he took command of the newly formed Task Force Tripoli, and drove it north from Baghdad into Samarra and Tikrit.[4]

His next assignment was as legislative assistant to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Michael Hagee In January 2007, Kelly was nominated for promotion to the rank of Major General,[5] and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 11, 2007.[6]

MajGen Kelly cuts the Marine Corps Birthday Cake during the cake cutting ceremony in Camp Fallujah, Iraq on November 10, 2008.
Photo credit: Sgt. Jim Heuston, USMC.

Kelly's next assignment, in July 2007, was as Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).[7] On February 9, 2008, Kelly assumed command of the Multi-National Force–West in Iraq, replacing Major General Walter E. Gaskin.[8] After a year in Iraq, Kelly will return to the States in February 2009.[9]


Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Defense Superior Service Medal Legion of Merit Meritorious Service Medal w/ 1 award star Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal w/ 3 award stars
Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal Navy Presidential Unit Citation Joint Meritorious Unit Award Navy Unit Commendation
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal National Defense Service Medal w/ 2 service stars Southwest Asia Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon w/ 4 service stars Navy & Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon w/ 1 service star Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)


  1. ^ a b c d e Multi-National Force–West — Commanding General profile.
  2. ^ "With the 1st Marine Division in Iraq, 2003" (PDF). p. 173–174.,%202003%20%20PCN%2010600000000_12.pdf. Retrieved November 27, 2008. ""The Division accomplished some important tasks during this brief respite. With Secretary of Defense authority, the CG frocked Colonel John F. Kelly, the Assistant Division Commander (ADC), to the grade of Brigadier General at the Division Forward COC located in the South Rumaylah oil fields. The last known promotion of a Marine Brigadier General in an active combat zone was that of an earlier 1st Marine Division ADC — then Colonel Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller in Korea." 
  3. ^ "Lieutenant General Lewis "Chesty" B. Puller, USMC". Who's Who in Marine Corps History. History Division, United States Marine Corps. Retrieved November 27, 2008. 
  4. ^ Reynolds, Col. Nicholas E. (2007). "Ch. 8. No Small of Salt Water: North to Tikrit, South to Ad Diwaniyah". Basrah, Baghdad, and Beyond:U.S. Marines in Iraq, 2003. Washington, D.C.: History Division, United States Marine Corps. pp. 107–112. PCN 10600000200. 
  5. ^ "Personnel Moves — January 6, 2007". Defense Daily. Retrieved November 27, 2008. 
  6. ^ "Nominations Confirmed (Non-Civilian)". United States Senate. September 11, 2007. Retrieved November 27, 2008. 
  7. ^ "Official Biography: Major General John F. Kelly, I Marine Expeditionary Force". United States Marine Corps. Retrieved November 27, 2008. 
  8. ^ "MNF-W conducts transfer of authority ceremony (Al Anbar)". Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory: Multi-National Force–Iraq. February 9, 2008. Retrieved November 27, 2008. 
  9. ^ "Marine Commander's Iraq Tour Ends With Optimism" (broadcast). Morning Edition. NPR. January 30, 2009. Retrieved January 30, 2009. 

See also


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

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