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Commandant of the United States Marine Corps


Commandant of the United States Marine Corps

Template:Infobox political post 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.


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]

Pay Grade: The salary for CMC is $20,587.80 per month.

List of commandants

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]

# Picture Name Rank Start of tenure End of tenure Notes
1 NicholasSamuel Nicholas O-04 Major 01775-11-28November 28, 1775 01783-08-27August 27, 1783 The first de facto Commandant for his role as the senior-most officer of the Continental Marines.[7]
2 BurrowsWilliam W. Burrows O-05 Lieutenant Colonel 01798-07-12July 12, 1798 01804-03-06March 6, 1804 The first de jure Commandant, he started many important organizations within the Marine Corps, including the United States Marine Band
3.03 WhartonFranklin Wharton O-05 Lieutenant Colonel 01804-03-07March 7, 1804 01818-09-01September 1, 1818 The first Commandant to be court-martialed (acquitted) and the first to occupy the Commandant's House at the Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C.
3.5 Henderson1Archibald Henderson (acting) O-05 Major 01818-09-16September 16, 1818 01819-03-02March 2, 1819 Acting Commandant, would later serve as Commandant from 1820 to 1859
GaleAnthony Gale O-05 Lieutenant Colonel 01819-03-03March 3, 1819 01820-10-08October 8, 1820 The second Commandant to be court-martialed and the only Commandant to be fired. Burial location is unknown and no photos have ever been located.
5 Henderson2Archibald Henderson O-07 Brevet Brigadier General 01820-10-17October 17, 1820 01859-01-06January 6, 1859 The 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]
6 HarrisJohn Harris O-06Colonel 01859-01-07January 7, 1859 01864-05-01May 1, 1864 Commandant during most of the American Civil War
7 ZeilinJacob Zeilin O-07Brigadier General 01864-06-10June 10, 1864 01876-10-31October 31, 1876 Became the Marine Corps' first general officer, officially approved of the design of the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor as the emblem of the Marine Corps
8 McCawleyCharles G. McCawley O-06Colonel 01876-11-01November 1, 1876 01891-01-29January 29, 1891 Chose "Semper Fidelis", Latin for "Always Faithful", as the official Marine Corps motto
9 HeywoodCharles Heywood O-08 Major General 01891-06-30June 30, 1891 01903-10-02October 2, 1903 Was the first Marine to hold the rank of Major General
10 ElliottGeorge F. Elliott O-08 Major General 01903-10-03October 3, 1903 01910-11-30November 30, 1910 Successfully resisted attempts to remove seagoing Marines from capital ships and to merge the Corps into the United States Army
11 BiddleWilliam P. Biddle O-08 Major General 01911-02-03February 3, 1911 01914-02-24February 24, 1914 Established the Advanced Base Force, forerunner of today's Fleet Marine Force
12 BarnettGeorge Barnett O-08 Major General 01914-02-25February 25, 1914 01920-06-30June 30, 1920 Served as Commandant during World War I, which caused a huge increase in personnel during his term
13 LejeuneJohn A. Lejeune O-08 Major General 01920-07-01July 1, 1920 01929-03-04March 4, 1929 Started 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.
14 NevilleWendell C. Neville O-08 Major General 01929-03-05March 5, 1929 01930-07-08July 8, 1930 Recipient of the Medal of Honor and Marine Corps Brevet Medal
15 FullerBen H. Fuller O-08 Major General 01930-07-09July 9, 1930 01934-02-28February 28, 1934 Consolidated the Fleet Marine Force concept
16 RussellJohn H. Russell, Jr. O-08 Major General 01934-03-01March 1, 1934 01936-11-30November 30, 1936 The 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.
17 HolcombThomas Holcomb O-09 Lieutenant General 01936-12-01December 1, 1936 01943-12-31December 31, 1943 Expanded 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
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VandegriftAlexander Vandegrift O-09 General 01944-01-01January 1, 1944 01947-12-31December 31, 1947 Recipient 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
19 CatesClifton B. Cates O-10General 01948-01-01January 1, 1948 01951-12-31December 31, 1951 Recipient of the Navy Cross. Commandant during early stage of the Korean War.
20 ShepherdLemuel C. Shepherd, Jr. O-10General 01952-01-01January 1, 1952 01955-12-31December 31, 1955 First Commandant to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Commandant during the Korean War.
21 PateRandolph M. Pate O-10General 01956-01-01January 1, 1956 01959-12-31December 31, 1959 Commandant between U.S. involvement in the Korean War and Vietnam War.
22 ShoupDavid M. Shoup O-10General 01960-01-01January 1, 1960 01963-12-31December 31, 1963 Recipient 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.
23 GreeneWallace M. Greene, Jr. O-10General 01964-01-01January 1, 1964 01967-12-31December 31, 1967 Oversaw the proliferation of the Corps in the Vietnam War
24 ChapmanLeonard F. Chapman, Jr. O-10General 01968-01-01January 1, 1968 01971-12-31December 31, 1971 Was 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.
25 CushmanRobert E. Cushman, Jr. O-10General 01972-01-01January 1, 1972 01975-06-30June 30, 1975 Saw the last of the Marines leave Vietnam and the peacetime strength fall to 194,000 while still maintaining readiness
26 WilsonLouis H. Wilson, Jr. O-10General 01975-07-01July 1, 1975 01979-06-30June 30, 1979 Recipient of the Medal of Honor
27 BarrowRobert H. Barrow O-10General 01979-07-01July 1, 1979 01983-06-30June 30, 1983 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
28 KelleyPaul X. Kelley O-10General 01983-07-01July 1, 1983 01987-06-30June 30, 1987 In 2007, General Kelley published in the Washington Post an opinion piece that had a negative opinion on the use of enhanced interrogation techniques
29 GrayAlfred M. Gray, Jr. O-10General 01987-07-01July 1, 1987 01991-06-30June 30, 1991 The 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.
30 MundyCarl E. Mundy, Jr. O-10General 01991-07-01July 1, 1991 01995-06-30June 30, 1995 Is currently on the board of directors for General Dynamics and is the Chairman of the Marine Corps University foundation
31 KrulakCharles C. Krulak O-10General 01995-07-01July 1, 1995 01999-06-30June 30, 1999 Was 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.
32 JonesJames L. Jones O-10General 01999-07-01July 1, 1999 02003-01-12January 12, 2003 Oversaw 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.
33 HageeMichael W. Hagee O-10General 02003-01-13January 13, 2003 02006-11-13November 13, 2006 Guided the Corps through the initial years of the Iraq War
34 ConwayJames T. Conway O-10General 02006-11-13November 13, 2006 02010-10-22October 22, 2010 Commanded Marines forces in the Iraq War and oversaw expansion of the Corps to 202,000 personnel
35 AmosJames F. Amos O-10General 02010-10-22October 22, 2010 Incumbent First United States Naval Aviator to serve as Commandant[9]


ImageSize = width:1000 height:auto barincrement:10 PlotArea = top:10 bottom:50 right:130 left:20 AlignBars = late

DateFormat = yyyy Period = from:1770 till:2020 TimeAxis = orientation:horizontal ScaleMajor = unit:year increment:10 start:1770

Define $now = 2011

Colors =

 id:cmc	value:rgb(1,0,0)	legend: CMC
 id:acmc	value:rgb(0,0,1)	legend: ACMC
 id:time	value:rgb(0.9,0.9,0.9)	

Legend = orientation:vertical position:right

LineData =


BarData =



 width:6 align:left fontsize:S shift:(5,-4) anchor:till
bar:nicholas     from: 1775 till: 1783  color:cmc      text:Nicholas 
bar:burrows      from: 1798 till: 1804  color:cmc      text:Burrows
bar:wharton      from: 1804 till: 1818  color:cmc      text:Wharton
bar:henderson    from: 1818 till: 1819  color:cmc
bar:henderson    from: 1820 till: 1859  color:cmc      text:Henderson 
bar:gale         from: 1819 till: 1820  color:cmc      text:Gale
bar:harris       from: 1859 till: 1864  color:cmc      text:Harris
bar:zeilin       from: 1864 till: 1876  color:cmc      text:Zeilin
bar:mccawley     from: 1876 till: 1891  color:cmc      text:McCawley
bar:heywood      from: 1891 till: 1903  color:cmc      text:Heywood
bar:elliott      from: 1903 till: 1910  color:cmc      text:Elliott
bar:biddle       from: 1911 till: 1914  color:cmc      text:Biddle
bar:barnett      from: 1914 till: 1920  color:cmc      text:Barnett
bar:lejeune      from: 1915 till: 1917  color:acmc
bar:lejeune      from: 1920 till: 1929  color:cmc      text:Lejeune
bar:neville      from: 1920 till: 1923  color:acmc
bar:neville      from: 1929 till: 1930  color:cmc      text:Neville
bar:fuller       from: 1928 till: 1930  color:acmc
bar:fuller       from: 1930 till: 1933  color:cmc      text:Fuller
bar:russell      from: 1933 till: 1934  color:acmc
bar:russell      from: 1934 till: 1936  color:cmc      text:Russell
bar:holcomb      from: 1936 till: 1944  color:cmc      text:Holcomb
bar:vandegrift	  from: 1940 till: 1941  color:acmc
bar:vandegrift	  from: 1944 till: 1948  color:cmc	text:Vandegrift
bar:cates	  from: 1948 till: 1952  color:cmc	text:Cates
bar:shepherd	  from: 1946 till: 1948  color:acmc
bar:shepherd	  from: 1952 till: 1956  color:cmc	text:Shepard
bar:pate	  from: 1954 till: 1956  color:acmc
bar:pate	  from: 1956 till: 1960  color:cmc	text:Pate
bar:shoup	  from: 1960 till: 1964  color:cmc	text:Shoup
bar:greene	  from: 1964 till: 1968  color:cmc	text:Greene
bar:chapman	  from: 1967 till: 1968  color:acmc
bar:chapman	  from: 1968 till: 1972  color:cmc	text:Chapman
bar:cushman	  from: 1971 till: 1975  color:cmc	text:Cushman
bar:wilson	  from: 1975 till: 1979  color:cmc	text:Wilson
bar:barrow	  from: 1978 till: 1979  color:acmc
bar:barrow	  from: 1979 till: 1983  color:cmc	text:Barrow
bar:kelley	  from: 1981 till: 1983  color:acmc
bar:kelley	  from: 1983 till: 1987  color:cmc	text:Kelly
bar:gray	  from: 1987 till: 1991  color:cmc	text:Gray
bar:mundy	  from: 1991 till: 1995  color:cmc	text:Mundy
bar:krulak	  from: 1995 till: 1999  color:cmc	text:Krulak
bar:jones	  from: 1999 till: 2003  color:cmc      text:Jones
bar:hagee	  from: 2003 till: 2006  color:cmc	text:Hagee
bar:conway	  from: 2006 till: 2010  color:cmc	text:Conway
bar:amos	  from: 2008 till: 2010  color:acmc
bar:amos	  from: 2010 till: $now  color:cmc	text:Amos

See also




External links

  • Official website

Template:US military navbox

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