List of United States Marine Corps four-star generals: Wikis

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This is a complete list of four-star generals in the United States Marine Corps. The rank of general (or full general, or four-star general) is the highest rank in the Marine Corps. It ranks above lieutenant general (three-star general).

There have been 62 four-star generals in the history of the United States Marine Corps. Of these, 44 achieved that rank while on active duty, 17 were promoted upon retirement in recognition of combat citations, and one was promoted posthumously. Generals entered the Marine Corps via several paths: 25 via Officer Candidates School (OCS), 20 via Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) at a civilian university, 9 via the United States Naval Academy (USNA), 4 via Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at a civilian university, and 4 via ROTC at a senior military college.

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, dating from September 1, 2004.[1]

Contents

List of generals

Entries in the following list of four-star generals are indexed by the numerical order in which each officer was promoted to that rank while on active duty, or by an asterisk (*) if the officer did not serve in that rank while on active duty. Each entry lists the general's name, date of rank,[2] active-duty positions held while serving at four-star rank,[3] number of years of active-duty service at four-star rank (Yrs),[4] year commissioned and source of commission,[5] number of years in commission when promoted to four-star rank (YC),[6] and other biographical notes.[7]

The list is sortable by last name, date of rank, number of years of active-duty service at four-star rank, year commissioned, and number of years in commission when promoted to four-star rank.

# Name Date of rank [2] Position Yrs [4] Commission[5] YC [6] Notes
1 Alexander A. Vandegrift 21 Mar 1945   Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (CMC), 1944–1947. 2 1909 (OCS) 36 (1887–1973) Awarded Medal of Honor, 1942.
* Roy S. Geiger 23 Jan 1947   (posthumous) 0 1909 (OCS) 38 (1885–1947) [8]
2 Clifton B. Cates 01 Jan 1948   Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (CMC), 1948–1951. 4 1917 (OCS) 31 (1893–1970) [9]
3 Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr. 01 Jan 1952   Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (CMC), 1952–1955; Chairman, Inter-American Defense Board, 1956–1959. 7 1917 (VMI) 35 (1896–1990) [10]
4 Randolph M. Pate 01 Jan 1956   Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (CMC), 1956–1959. 4 1921 (VMI) 35 (1898–1961)
5 David M. Shoup 01 Jan 1960   Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (CMC), 1960–1963. 4 1926 (ROTC) 34 (1904–1983) Awarded Medal of Honor, 1943.
6 Wallace M. Greene Jr. 01 Jan 1964   Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (CMC), 1964–1967. 4 1930 (USNA) 34 (1907–2003)
7 Leonard F. Chapman Jr. 01 Jan 1968   Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (CMC), 1968–1971. 4 1935 (NROTC) 33 (1913–2000) U.S. Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization, 1973–1977.
8 Lewis W. Walt 02 Jun 1969   Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (ACMC), 1968–1971. 2 1936 (ROTC) 33 (1913–1989)
9 Raymond G. Davis 12 Mar 1971   Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (ACMC), 1971–1972. 1 1938 (ROTC) 33 (1915–2003) Awarded Medal of Honor, 1950.
10 Keith B. McCutcheon 01 Jul 1971   Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (ACMC), 1971. 0 1937 (ROTC) 34 (1915–1971) [11]
11 Robert E. Cushman Jr. 01 Jan 1972   Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (CMC), 1972–1975. 4 1935 (USNA) 37 (1914–1985) Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, 1969–1971.
12 Earl E. Anderson 31 Mar 1972   Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (ACMC), 1972–1975. 3 1940 (NROTC) 32 (1919–       )
13 Louis H. Wilson Jr. 01 Jul 1975   Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (CMC), 1975–1979. 4 1941 (OCS) 34 (1920–2005) Awarded Medal of Honor, 1944.
14 Samuel Jaskilka 04 Mar 1976   Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (ACMC), 1975–1978. 3 1942 (OCS) 34 (1919–       )
15 Robert H. Barrow 01 Jul 1978   Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (ACMC), 1978–1979; Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (CMC), 1979–1983. 5 1942 (OCS) 36 (1922–2008)
16 Kenneth McLennan 02 Jul 1979   Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps/Chief of Staff, U.S. Marine Corps (ACMC), 1979–1981. 3 1945 (OCS) 34 (1925–2005)
17 Paul X. Kelley 01 Jul 1981   Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps/Chief of Staff, U.S. Marine Corps (ACMC), 1981–1983; Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (CMC), 1983–1987. 6 1950 (NROTC) 31 (1928–       )
18 John K. Davis 01 Jul 1983   Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (ACMC), 1983–1986. 3 1950 (NROTC) 33 (1927–       )
19 George B. Crist 22 Nov 1985   Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command (USCINCCENT), 1985–1988. 3 1952 (NROTC) 33 (1931–       )
20 Thomas R. Morgan 01 Jun 1986   Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (ACMC), 1986–1988. 2 1952 (NROTC) 34 (1930–       )
21 Alfred M. Gray Jr. 01 Jul 1987   Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (CMC), 1987–1991. 4 1952 (OCS) 35 (1928–       )
22 Joseph J. Went 01 Jul 1988   Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps/Chief of Staff, U.S. Marine Corps (ACMC), 1988–1990. 2 1952 (NROTC) 36 (1930–       )
23 John R. Dailey 01 Aug 1990   Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps/Chief of Staff, U.S. Marine Corps (ACMC), 1990–1992. 2 1956 (NROTC) 34 (1934–       ) Associate Deputy Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1992–1999; Director, National Air and Space Museum, 2000–present.
24 Carl E. Mundy Jr. 01 Jul 1991   Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (CMC), 1991–1995. 4 1957 (NROTC) 34 (1935–       ) President, United Service Organizations, 1996–2000.
25 Joseph P. Hoar 01 Sep 1991   Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command (USCINCCENT), 1991–1994. 3 1957 (NROTC) 34 (1934–       )
26 Walter E. Boomer 01 Sep 1992   Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (ACMC), 1992–1994. 2 1960 (NROTC) 32 (1938–       )
27 Richard D. Hearney 15 Jul 1994   Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (ACMC), 1994–1996. 2 1962 (OCS) 32 (19??–       )
28 John J. Sheehan 1994   Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command (USCINCACOM), 1994–1997; Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT), 1994–1997. 3 1962 (NROTC) 32 (1940–       )
29 Charles C. Krulak 29 Jun 1995   Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (CMC), 1995–1999. 4 1964 (USNA) 31 (1942–       )
30 Richard I. Neal 19 Sep 1996   Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (ACMC), 1996–1998. 2 1965 (NROTC) 31 (1942–       )
31 Anthony C. Zinni 08 Aug 1997   Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command (USCINCCENT), 1997–2000. 3 1965 (NROTC) 32 (1943–       ) U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East, 2002–2003.
32 Charles E. Wilhelm 25 Sep 1997   Commander in Chief, U.S. Southern Command (USCINCSO), 1997–2000. 3 1964 (NROTC) 33 (1941–       )
33 Terrence R. Dake 05 Sep 1998   Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (ACMC), 1998–2000. 2 1966 (OCS) 32 (1944–       )
34 James L. Jones 30 Jun 1999   Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (CMC), 1999–2003; Commander, U.S. European Command (CDRUSEUCOM), 2003–2006; Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), 2003–2006. 7 1967 (NROTC) 32 (1943–       ) National Security Advisor, 2009–present.
35 Peter Pace 08 Sep 2000   Commander in Chief, U.S. Southern Command (USCINCSO), 2000–2001; Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (VCJCS), 2001–2005; Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), 2005–2007. 7 1967 (USNA) 33 (1945–       ) Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom, 2008.
36 Carlton W. Fulford Jr. 01 Oct 2000   Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command (DCINCEUR), 2000–2002. 2 1966 (USNA) 34 (1944–       )
37 Michael J. Williams 01 Nov 2000   Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (ACMC), 2000–2002. 2 1967 (USNA) 33 (1943–       )
38 William L. Nyland 04 Sep 2002   Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (ACMC), 2002–2005. 3 1968 (NROTC) 34 (1946–       )
39 Michael W. Hagee 14 Jan 2003   Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (CMC), 2003–2006. 3 1968 (USNA) 35 (1944–       )
40 James E. Cartwright 01 Sep 2004   Commander, U.S. Strategic Command (CDRUSSTRATCOM), 2004–2007. Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (VCJCS), 2007–present. 6 1971 (NROTC) 33 (1949–       )
41 Robert Magnus 01 Nov 2005   Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (ACMC), 2005–2008. 3 1969 (NROTC) 36 (1947–       )
42 James T. Conway 13 Nov 2006   Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (CMC), 2006–present. 4 1970 (OCS) 36 (1947–       )
43 James N. Mattis 09 Nov 2007   Supreme Allied Commander Transformation/Commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command (SACT/CDRUSJFCOM), 2007–2009; Commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command (CDRUSJFCOM), 2009–present. 3 1972 (OCS) 35 (1950–       )
44 James F. Amos 02 Jul 2008   Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (ACMC), 2008–present. 2 1970 (NROTC) 38 (19??–       )

Tombstone generals

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.

Name Date of rank (LGEN) Date retired Commission [5] Notes
1 Thomas Holcomb 20 Jan 1942   Jan 1944   1900 (OCS) (1879–1965) U.S. Minister to South Africa, 1944–1948.
2 Holland M. Smith 28 Feb 1944   May 1946   1905 (OCS) (1882–1967)
3 Harry Schmidt 01 Mar 1946   Jul 1948   1909 (OCS) (1886–1968)
4 Allen H. Turnage 04 Oct 1946   Jan 1948   1913 (OCS) (1891–1971)
5 Leroy P. Hunt 01 Jul 1949   Jul 1951   1917 (OCS) (1892–1968)
6 Franklin A. Hart 22 Feb 1951   Aug 1952   1917 (OCS) (1894–1967)
7 Graves B. Erskine 02 Jul 1951   Jul 1953   1917 (OCS) (1897–1973) Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Special Operations, 1953–1961.
8 Gerald C. Thomas 08 Mar 1952   Jan 1956   1917 (OCS) (1894–1984)
9 Oliver P. Smith 23 Jul 1953   Sep 1955   1917 (OCS) (1893–1977)
10 William O. Brice 28 Aug 1953   1956   1921 (Citadel) (1898–1972)
11 Christian F. Schilt 01 Aug 1955   Apr 1957   1919 (OCS) (1895–1987) Awarded Medal of Honor, 1928.
12 Alfred H. Noble 01 Aug 1955   Nov 1956   1917 (OCS) (1894–1983)
13 Vernon E. Megee 01 Jan 1956   Nov 1959   1922 (OCS) (1900–1992)
14 Edwin A. Pollock 01 Jan 1956   Nov 1959   1921 (Citadel) (1899–1982)
15 Merrill B. Twining 12 Sep 1956   Oct 1959   1923 (USNA) (1902–1996) Brother of Air Force four-star general Nathan F. Twining.
16 Ray A. Robinson 01 Nov 1956   Nov 1957   1917 (OCS) (1896–1976)
17 Robert E. Hogaboom 01 Dec 1957   Oct 1959   1925 (USNA) (1902–1993)

Timeline

By the Act of March 21, 1945, Congress permitted the President to appoint the Commandant of the Marine Corps to the grade of general. Alexander A. Vandegrift, then Commandant, was promoted from lieutenant general to general on April 4, 1945, to rank from March 21 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 August 7, 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 House that makes the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps a four-star general when the active duty strength of the Marine Corps exceeds 200,000. On May 5, 1969, President Nixon signed the bill, and Lieutenant General Lewis W. Walt was promoted to that rank on June 2, 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 March 4, 1976.

On November 22, 1985, General George B. Crist was promoted to four-star rank and on November 27, 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 Pace became 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 standard tour length for the commandant (CMC) is four years; two years for the assistant commandant (ACMC); 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 (CJCS/VCJCS).

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Public Directory of the United States Marine Corps General Officers and Senior Executives (August 17, 2008), Senior Leader Management Branch, United States Marine Corps.
  2. ^ a b Dates of rank are taken, where available, from the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps register of active and retired commissioned officers, or from the World Almanac and Book of Facts.
  3. ^ Positions listed are those held by the officer when promoted to general. Dates listed are for the officer's full tenure, which may predate promotion to four-star rank or postdate retirement from active duty.
  4. ^ a b The number of years of active-duty service at four-star rank is approximated by subtracting the year in the "Date of rank" column from the last year in the "Position" column.
  5. ^ a b c Sources of commission are listed in parentheses after the year of commission and include: the Officer Candidates School (OCS); the United States Naval Academy (USNA); Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) at a civilian university; Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at a civilian university; and ROTC at a senior military college such as the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) or The Citadel (Citadel).
  6. ^ a b 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.
  7. ^ Notes include years of birth and death; awards of the Medal of Honor, Congressional Gold Medal, Presidential Medal of Freedom, or honors of similar significance; major government appointments; university presidencies or equivalents; familial relationships with other four-star officers or significant government officials such as U.S. Presidents, cabinet secretaries, U.S. Senators, or state governors; and unusual career events such as premature relief or death in office.
  8. ^ Posthumously promoted to general by Act of Congress, Jun 1947, with date of rank 23 Jan 1947.
  9. ^ Reverted to lieutenant general, Jan 1952; retired as general, Jun 1954.
  10. ^ Retired as general, Jan 1956; recalled as general, Mar 1956.
  11. ^ Unable to assume post due to ill health; promoted and placed on retired list as general by Act of Congress, 01 Jul 1971; died 13 Jul 1971.

References

This article incorporates public domain text from the United States Marine Corps.
  • U.S. Bureau of Naval Personnel (1950-1959), Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps, Washington D.C.: Department of the Navy  
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