Commandant of the Marine Corps

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Commandant of the Marine Corps
CMC
a red flag with four white stars and a grey/yellow Eagle, Globe, and Anchor insignia centered
Flag of the Commandant of the Marine Corps
General James F. Amos.jpg
Incumbent
Gen James F. Amos, USMC

since October 22, 2010
Department of the Navy
Member ofJoint Chiefs of Staff
Reports toSecretary of Defense
Secretary of the Navy
SeatThe Pentagon, Arlington County, Virginia, U.S.
AppointerThe President
Term length4 years
Renewable once (In time of war or during a national emergency declared by Congress)
Constituting instrument10 U.S.C. § 5043
FormationNovember 28, 1775de facto,
July 12, 1798de jure
First holderSamuel Nicholas
DeputyAssistant Commandant of the Marine Corps
WebsiteCommandant of the Marine Corps (official website)
 
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Commandant of the Marine Corps
CMC
a red flag with four white stars and a grey/yellow Eagle, Globe, and Anchor insignia centered
Flag of the Commandant of the Marine Corps
General James F. Amos.jpg
Incumbent
Gen James F. Amos, USMC

since October 22, 2010
Department of the Navy
Member ofJoint Chiefs of Staff
Reports toSecretary of Defense
Secretary of the Navy
SeatThe Pentagon, Arlington County, Virginia, U.S.
AppointerThe President
Term length4 years
Renewable once (In time of war or during a national emergency declared by Congress)
Constituting instrument10 U.S.C. § 5043
FormationNovember 28, 1775de facto,
July 12, 1798de jure
First holderSamuel Nicholas
DeputyAssistant Commandant of the Marine Corps
WebsiteCommandant of the Marine Corps (official website)

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.[1] 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,[1] the Homeland Security Council,[1] 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.[2] The commandant performs all other functions prescribed in Section 5043 in Title 10 of the United States Code[3] 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.[3] By statute, the Commandant is appointed as a four-star general while serving in office.[3] "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."[4] Since 1801, the official residence of the Commandant has been located in the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C. and his main offices are in Arlington, Virginia.

Responsibilities[edit]

The responsibilities of the Commandant are outlined in Title 10, Section 5043 the United States Code[3] 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.[3]

List of commandants[edit]

Thirty-five [5] 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,[5] 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.[6] 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.[5] 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.[5]

#PictureNameRankStart of tenureEnd of tenureNotes
1black & white portrait of Samuel NicholasNicholasSamuel NicholasO-04 MajorNovember 28, 1775August 27, 1783The first de facto Commandant for his role as the senior-most officer of the Continental Marines.[7]
2black & white portrait of William W. BurrowsBurrowsWilliam W. BurrowsO-05 Lieutenant ColonelJuly 12, 1798March 6, 1804The first de jure Commandant, he started many important organizations within the Marine Corps, including the United States Marine Band
3.03black & white portrait of Franklin WhartonWhartonFranklin WhartonO-05 Lieutenant ColonelMarch 7, 1804September 1, 1818The first Commandant to be court-martialed (acquitted) and the first to occupy the Commandant's House at the Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C.
3.5black & white portrait of Archibald HendersonHenderson1Archibald Henderson (acting)O-05 MajorSeptember 16, 1818March 2, 1819Acting Commandant, would later serve as Commandant from 1820 to 1859
4
GaleAnthony GaleO-05 Lieutenant ColonelMarch 3, 1819October 8, 1820The second Commandant to be court-martialed and the only Commandant to be fired. Burial location is unknown and no photos have ever been located.
5black & white portrait of Archibald HendersonHenderson2Archibald HendersonO-07 Brevet Brigadier GeneralOctober 17, 1820January 6, 1859The 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[8]
6black & white photograph of John HarrisHarrisJohn HarrisO-06ColonelJanuary 7, 1859May 1, 1864Commandant during most of the American Civil War
7black & white photograph of Jacob ZeilinZeilinJacob ZeilinO-07Brigadier GeneralJune 10, 1864October 31, 1876Became the Marine Corps' first general officer, officially approved of the design of the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor as the emblem of the Marine Corps
8black & white photograph of Charles G. McCawleyMcCawleyCharles G. McCawleyO-06ColonelNovember 1, 1876January 29, 1891Chose "Semper Fidelis", Latin for "Always Faithful", as the official Marine Corps motto
9black & white portrait of Charles HeywoodHeywoodCharles HeywoodO-08 Major GeneralJune 30, 1891October 2, 1903Was the first Marine to hold the rank of Major General
10black & white portrait of George F. ElliottElliottGeorge F. ElliottO-08 Major GeneralOctober 3, 1903November 30, 1910Successfully resisted attempts to remove seagoing Marines from capital ships and to merge the Corps into the United States Army
11black & white photograph of William P. BiddleBiddleWilliam P. BiddleO-08 Major GeneralFebruary 3, 1911February 24, 1914Established the Advanced Base Force, forerunner of today's Fleet Marine Force
12black & white portrait of George BarnettBarnettGeorge BarnettO-08 Major GeneralFebruary 25, 1914June 30, 1920Served as Commandant during World War I, which caused a huge increase in personnel during his term
13black & white portrait of John A. LejeuneLejeuneJohn A. LejeuneO-08 Major GeneralJuly 1, 1920March 4, 1929Started the tradition of the birthday ball with Marine Corps Order 47, still read annually. Commanded a US Army division (the 2nd Infantry Division) in combat during World War I.
14black & white portrait of Wendall C. NevilleNevilleWendell C. NevilleO-08 Major GeneralMarch 5, 1929July 8, 1930Recipient of the Medal of Honor and Marine Corps Brevet Medal
15black & white photograph of Ben H. FullerFullerBen H. FullerO-08 Major GeneralJuly 9, 1930February 28, 1934Consolidated the Fleet Marine Force concept
16black & white photograph of John H. Russell, Jr.RussellJohn H. Russell, Jr.O-08 Major GeneralMarch 1, 1934November 30, 1936The 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.
17black & white photograph of Thomas HolcombHolcombThomas HolcombO-09 Lieutenant GeneralDecember 1, 1936December 31, 1943Expanded 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
18black & white photograph of Alexander A. VandegriftVandegriftAlexander VandegriftO-09 GeneralJanuary 1, 1944December 31, 1947Recipient 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
19black & white photograph of Clifton B. CatesCatesClifton B. CatesO-10GeneralJanuary 1, 1948December 31, 1951Recipient of the Navy Cross. Commandant during early stage of the Korean War.
20black & white photograph of Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr.ShepherdLemuel C. Shepherd, Jr.O-10GeneralJanuary 1, 1952December 31, 1955First Commandant to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Commandant during the Korean War.
21black & white photograph of Randolph M. PatePateRandolph M. PateO-10GeneralJanuary 1, 1956December 31, 1959Commandant between U.S. involvement in the Korean War and Vietnam War.
22black & white photograph of David M. ShoupShoupDavid M. ShoupO-10GeneralJanuary 1, 1960December 31, 1963Recipient of the Medal of Honor. Opposed U.S. involvement in South Vietnam based on strategy and undue influence of corporations and military officials in foreign policy. Historians consider Shoup's criticisms to be among the most pointed and high-profile leveled by a veteran against the Vietnam War.
23black & white photograph of Wallace M. Greene, Jr.GreeneWallace M. Greene, Jr.O-10GeneralJanuary 1, 1964December 31, 1967Oversaw the proliferation of the Corps in the Vietnam War
24black & white photograph of Leonard F. Chapman, Jr.ChapmanLeonard F. Chapman, Jr.O-10GeneralJanuary 1, 1968December 31, 1971Was the Commandant during the final years of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Chapman witnessed the III Marine Amphibious Force withdrawal from Vietnam and the strength of the Corps drop from a peak of 289,000 to 198,000.
25black & white photograph of Robert Everton Cushman, Jr.CushmanRobert E. Cushman, Jr.O-10GeneralJanuary 1, 1972June 30, 1975Saw the last of the Marines leave Vietnam and the peacetime strength fall to 194,000 while still maintaining readiness
26Color of Louis H. Wilson, Jr.WilsonLouis H. Wilson, Jr.O-10GeneralJuly 1, 1975June 30, 1979Recipient of the Medal of Honor
27color photograph of Robert H. BarrowBarrowRobert H. BarrowO-10GeneralJuly 1, 1979June 30, 1983Last World War II veteran to be Commandant. Was the first Commandant to serve 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
28Color photograph of Paul X. KelleyKelleyPaul X. KelleyO-10GeneralJuly 1, 1983June 30, 1987Commandant when the Marine Barracks bombing occurred in Beirut during the 1982-84 multinational force peacekeeping mission under the Reagan Administration. In 2007, General Kelley published in the Washington Post an opinion piece that had a negative opinion on the use of enhanced interrogation techniques
29color photograph of Alfred M. Gray, Jr., the only Marine in this list wearing utilities instead of a service or dress uniformGrayAlfred M. Gray, Jr.O-10GeneralJuly 1, 1987June 30, 1991The 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.
As a reminder that the primary role of every Marine is a rifleman, he had his official photograph taken in the Camouflage Utility Uniform, the only Commandant to have done so.
30color photograph of Carl E. Mundy, Jr.MundyCarl E. Mundy, Jr.O-10GeneralJuly 1, 1991June 30, 1995After retirement, he served as president and CEO of the United Service Organizations (USO), and was the chairman of the Marine Corps University Foundation.
31color photograph of Charles C. KrulakKrulakCharles C. KrulakO-10GeneralJuly 1, 1995June 30, 1999Was the son of Marine Corps Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak. Came up with the concept of the 'Strategic Corporal' and the 'Three Block War'. Introduced The Crucible, a final test of Marine recruits.
32color photograph of James L. JonesJonesJames L. JonesO-10GeneralJuly 1, 1999January 12, 2003Oversaw 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.
33color photograph of Michael W. HageeHageeMichael W. HageeO-10GeneralJanuary 13, 2003November 13, 2006Guided the Corps through the initial years of the Iraq War
34color photograph of James T. ConwayConwayJames T. ConwayO-10GeneralNovember 13, 2006October 22, 2010Commanded Marines forces in the Iraq War and oversaw expansion of the Corps to 202,000 personnel
35Official portrait from Amos, 2010AmosJames F. AmosO-10GeneralOctober 22, 2010IncumbentFirst United States Naval Aviator to serve as Commandant[9]

Timeline[edit]

James F. AmosJames T. ConwayMichael HageeJames L. JonesCharles C. KrulakCarl Epting Mundy, Jr.Alfred M. Gray, Jr.Paul X. KelleyRobert H. BarrowLouis H. Wilson Jr.Robert E. Cushman, Jr.Leonard F. Chapman Jr.Wallace M. GreeneDavid M. ShoupRandolph M. PateLemuel C. Shepherd Jr.Clifton B. CatesAlexander VandegriftThomas HolcombJohn H. Russell, Jr.Ben Hebard FullerWendell Cushing NevilleJohn A. LejeuneGeorge BarnettWilliam P. BiddleGeorge F. ElliottCharles HeywoodCharles Grymes McCawleyJacob ZeilinJohn Harris (USMC)Anthony GaleArchibald HendersonFranklin WhartonWilliam Ward Burrows ISamuel Nicholas

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c 10 U.S.C. § 151 Joint Chiefs of Staff: composition; functions.
  2. ^ 10 U.S.C. § 165 Combatant commands: administration and support
  3. ^ a b c d e 10 U.S.C. § 5043 Commandant of the Marine Corps
  4. ^ "Appendix A: How the Marines Are Organized" (PDF). Marine Corps Concepts and Programs 2006. United States Marine Corps. p. 252. Retrieved 2007-05-06. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Commandants of the U.S. Marine Corps". Historical Topics: Frequently Requested. Reference Branch, History Division, United States Marine Corps. Retrieved 2007-10-21. 
  6. ^ Journal of the Continental Congress (10 November 1775). "Resolution Establishing the Continental Marines". United States Marine Corps History Division. Retrieved 2 February 2010. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ 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. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  9. ^ Shea, Sgt Jimmy D. (22 October 2010). "Taking the Reins: Marine Corps Welcomes New Commandant". Headquarters Marine Corps. United States Marine Corps. Retrieved 22 October 2010. 

General[edit]

External links[edit]