Adverts

Open Access Articles- Top Results for List of United States Marine Corps four-star generals

List of United States Marine Corps four-star generals

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 65 four-star generals in the history of the United States Marine Corps. Of these, 48 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: 28 via Officer Candidates School (OCS), 20 via Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) at a civilian university, 10 via the United States Naval Academy (USNA), 4 via Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) at a civilian university, and 4 via ROTC at a senior military college.

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,[1] active-duty positions held while serving at four-star rank,[2] number of years of active-duty service at four-star rank (Yrs),[3] year commissioned and source of commission,[4] number of years in commission when promoted to four-star rank (YC),[5] and other biographical notes.[6]

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 Photo Date of rank[1] Position Yrs[3] Commission[4] YC[5] Notes
1 Alexander A. Vandegrift 75px 21 Mar 1945   2 1909 (OCS) 36 (1887–1973) Awarded Medal of Honor, 1942.
* Roy S. Geiger 75px 23 Jan 1947  
  • (posthumous)
0 1909 (OCS) 38 (1885–1947) [7]
2 Clifton B. Cates 75px 01 Jan 1948  
  • Commandant, 1948–1951.
4 1917 (OCS) 31 (1893–1970) [8]
3 Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr. 75px 01 Jan 1952   7 1917 (VMI) 35 (1896–1990) [9]
4 Randolph M. Pate 75px 01 Jan 1956  
  • Commandant, 1956–1959.
4 1921 (VMI) 35 (1898–1961)
5 David M. Shoup 75px 01 Jan 1960  
  • Commandant, 1960–1963.
4 1926 (ROTC) 34 (1904–1983) Awarded Medal of Honor, 1943.
6 Wallace M. Greene Jr. 75px 01 Jan 1964  
  • Commandant, 1964–1967.
4 1930 (USNA) 34 (1907–2003)
7 Leonard F. Chapman, Jr. 75px 01 Jan 1968  
  • Commandant, 1968–1971.
4 1935 (NROTC) 33 (1913–2000) U.S. Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization, 1973–1977.
8 Lewis W. Walt 75px 02 Jun 1969   2 1936 (ROTC) 33 (1913–1989)
9 Raymond G. Davis 75px 12 Mar 1971  
  • Assistant Commandant, 1971–1972.
1 1938 (ROTC) 33 (1915–2003) Awarded Medal of Honor, 1950.
10 Keith B. McCutcheon 75px 01 Jul 1971  
  • Assistant Commandant, 1971.
0 1937 (ROTC) 34 (1915–1971) [10]
11 Robert E. Cushman Jr. 75px 01 Jan 1972  
  • Commandant, 1972–1975.
4 1935 (USNA) 37 (1914–1985) Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, 1969–1971.
12 Earl E. Anderson 75px 31 Mar 1972  
  • Assistant Commandant, 1972–1975.
3 1940 (NROTC) 32 (1919–       )
13 Louis H. Wilson Jr. 75px 01 Jul 1975  
  • Commandant, 1975–1979.
4 1941 (OCS) 34 (1920–2005) Awarded Medal of Honor, 1944.
14 Samuel Jaskilka 75px 04 Mar 1976  
  • Assistant Commandant, 1975–1978.
3 1942 (OCS) 34 (1919–2012)
15 Robert H. Barrow 75px 01 Jul 1978  
  • Assistant Commandant, 1978–1979.
  • Commandant, 1979–1983.
5 1942 (OCS) 36 (1922–2008)
16 Kenneth McLennan 75px 02 Jul 1979  
  • Assistant Commandant & Chief of Staff, 1979–1981.
3 1945 (OCS) 34 (1925–2005)
17 Paul X. Kelley 75px 01 Jul 1981  
  • Assistant Commandant & Chief of Staff, 1981–1983.
  • Commandant, 1983–1987.
6 1950 (NROTC) 31 (1928–       )
18 John K. Davis 75px 01 Jul 1983  
  • Assistant Commandant, 1983–1986.
3 1950 (NROTC) 33 (1927–       )
19 George B. Crist 75px 22 Nov 1985   3 1952 (NROTC) 33 (1931–       )
20 Thomas R. Morgan 75px 01 Jun 1986  
  • Assistant Commandant, 1986–1988.
2 1952 (NROTC) 34 (1930–       )
21 Alfred M. Gray Jr. 75px 01 Jul 1987  
  • Commandant, 1987–1991.
4 1952 (OCS) 35 (1928–       )
22 Joseph J. Went 75px 01 Jul 1988  
  • Assistant Commandant & Chief of Staff, 1988–1990.
2 1952 (NROTC) 36 (1930–       )
23 John R. Dailey 75px 01 Aug 1990  
  • Assistant Commandant & Chief of Staff, 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. 75px 01 Jul 1991  
  • Commandant, 1991–1995.
4 1957 (NROTC) 34 (1935–2014) President, United Service Organizations, 1996–2000.
25 Joseph P. Hoar 75px 01 Sep 1991  
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command, 1991–1994.
3 1957 (NROTC) 34 (1934–       )
26 Walter E. Boomer 75px 01 Sep 1992  
  • Assistant Commandant, 1992–1994.
2 1960 (NROTC) 32 (1938–       )
27 Richard D. Hearney 75px 15 Jul 1994  
  • Assistant Commandant, 1994–1996.
2 1962 (OCS) 32 (1939–       )
28 John J. Sheehan 75px 1994   3 1962 (NROTC) 32 (1940–       )
29 Charles C. Krulak 75px 29 Jun 1995  
  • Commandant, 1995–1999.
4 1964 (USNA) 31 (1942–       )
30 Richard I. Neal 75px 19 Sep 1996  
  • Assistant Commandant, 1996–1998.
2 1965 (NROTC) 31 (1942–       )
31 Anthony C. Zinni 75px 08 Aug 1997  
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command, 1997–2000.
3 1965 (NROTC) 32 (1943–       ) U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East, 2002–2003.
32 Charles E. Wilhelm 75px 25 Sep 1997   3 1964 (NROTC) 33 (1941–       )
33 Terrence R. Dake 75px 05 Sep 1998  
  • Assistant Commandant, 1998–2000.
2 1966 (OCS) 32 (1944–       )
34 James L. Jones 75px 30 Jun 1999   7 1967 (NROTC) 32 (1943–       ) National Security Advisor, 2009–2010.
35 Peter Pace 75px 08 Sep 2000   7 1967 (USNA) 33 (1945–       ) Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom, 2008.
36 Carlton W. Fulford, Jr. 75px 01 Oct 2000  
  • Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command, 2000–2002.
2 1966 (USNA) 34 (1944–       )
37 Michael J. Williams 75px 01 Nov 2000  
  • Assistant Commandant, 2000–2002.
2 1967 (USNA) 33 (1943–       )
38 William L. Nyland 75px 04 Sep 2002  
  • Assistant Commandant, 2002–2005.
3 1968 (NROTC) 34 (1946–       )
39 Michael W. Hagee 75px 14 Jan 2003  
  • Commandant, 2003–2006.
3 1968 (USNA) 35 (1944–       )
40 James E. Cartwright 75px 01 Sep 2004   7 1971 (NROTC) 33 (1949–       )
41 Robert Magnus 75px 01 Nov 2005  
  • Assistant Commandant, 2005–2008.
3 1969 (NROTC) 36 (1947–       )
42 James T. Conway 75px 13 Nov 2006  
  • Commandant, 2006–2010.
4 1970 (OCS) 36 (1947–       )
43 James N. Mattis 75px 09 Nov 2007   6 1972 (OCS) 35 (1950–       )
44 James F. Amos 75px 02 Jul 2008  
  • Assistant Commandant, 2008–2010.
  • Commandant, 2010–2014.
6 1970 (NROTC) 38 (1946–       ) First naval aviator to become commandant.
45 Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. 75px 23 Oct 2010   5 1977 (OCS) 33 (1955–       )
46 John R. Allen 75px 18 Jul 2011  
  • Commander, International Security Assistance Force & Commander, U.S. Forces - Afghanistan, 2011–2013.
2 1976 (USNA) 35 (1954–       )
47 John F. Kelly 75px 19 Nov 2012  
  • Commander, U.S. Southern Command, 2012–present.
3 1976 (OCS) 36 (195?–       )
48 John M. Paxton, Jr. 75px 15 Dec 2012  
  • Assistant Commandant, 2012–present.
3 1974 (OCS) 38 (1951–       )

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 all the perks and prestige of the higher rank including the loftier title on their tombstones but no additional retirement pay. 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. The practice was terminated in an effort to encourage senior officer retirements prior to the effective date of the change to relieve an overstrength in the senior ranks.

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 [4] 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 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 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 U.S.C. § 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 Richard Nixon signed the bill, and Lieutenant General Lewis William 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 Gerald 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 armed forces. Previously, in 2001, General Pace was the first Marine officer to be appointed as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (VCJCS).

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).

<timeline> ImageSize = width:800 height:auto barincrement:10 PlotArea = top:10 bottom:50 right:130 left:20 AlignBars = late

DateFormat = yyyy Period = from:1940 till:2020 TimeAxis = orientation:horizontal ScaleMajor = unit:year increment:10 start:1940

Define $now = 2015

Colors =

 id:jcs	value:rgb(0,0,0)	legend: CJCS/VCJCS
 id:cmc	value:rgb(1,0,0)	legend: CMC
 id:acmc	value:rgb(0,0,1)	legend: ACMC
 id:usmc	value:rgb(1,0,1)	legend: Other
 id:time	value:rgb(0.9,0.9,0.9)	

Legend = orientation:vertical position:right

LineData =

 layer:back
 width:0.1
 color:time
 at:1950
 at:1960
 at:1970
 at:1980
 at:1990
 at:2000
 at:2010
 at:2020

BarData =

barset:PM
bar:vandegrift
bar:cates
bar:shepherd
bar:pate
bar:shoup
bar:greene
bar:chapman
bar:walt
bar:mccutcheon
bar:raymonddavis
bar:cushman
bar:anderson
bar:wilson
bar:jaskilka
bar:barrow
bar:mclennan
bar:kelley
bar:johndavis
bar:crist
bar:morgan
bar:gray
bar:went
bar:dailey
bar:mundy
bar:hoar
bar:boomer
bar:hearney
bar:sheehan
bar:krulak
bar:neal
bar:zinni
bar:wilhelm
bar:dake
bar:jones
bar:pace
bar:fulford
bar:williams
bar:nyland
bar:hagee
bar:cartwright
bar:magnus
bar:conway
bar:mattis
bar:amos
bar:dunford
bar:allen
bar:kelly
bar:paxton

PlotData=

 width:6 align:left fontsize:S shift:(5,-4) anchor:till
 barset:PM
bar:vandegrift	from: 1945 till: 1948  color:cmc	text:"Alexander A. Vandegrift"
bar:cates	from: 1948 till: 1952  color:cmc	text:"Clifton B. Cates"
bar:shepherd	from: 1952 till: 1956  color:cmc
bar:shepherd	from: 1956 till: 1959  color:usmc	text:"Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr."
bar:pate	from: 1956 till: 1960  color:cmc	text:"Randolph M. Pate"
bar:shoup	from: 1960 till: 1964  color:cmc	text:"David M. Shoup"
bar:greene	from: 1964 till: 1968  color:cmc	text:"Wallace M. Greene Jr."
bar:chapman	from: 1968 till: 1972  color:cmc	text:"Leonard F. Chapman Jr."
bar:walt	from: 1969 till: 1971  color:acmc	text:"Lewis W. Walt"
bar:mccutcheon	from: 1971 till: 1971  color:acmc	text:"Keith B. McCutcheon"
bar:raymonddavis	from: 1971 till: 1972  color:acmc	text:"Raymond G. Davis"
bar:cushman	from: 1972 till: 1975  color:cmc	text:"Robert E. Cushman Jr."
bar:anderson	from: 1972 till: 1975  color:acmc	text:"Earl E. Anderson"
bar:wilson	from: 1975 till: 1979  color:cmc	text:"Louis H. Wilson Jr."
bar:jaskilka	from: 1976 till: 1978  color:acmc	text:"Samuel Jaskilka"
bar:barrow	from: 1978 till: 1979  color:acmc
bar:barrow	from: 1979 till: 1983  color:cmc	text:"Robert H. Barrow"
bar:mclennan	from: 1979 till: 1981  color:acmc	text:"Kenneth McLennan"
bar:kelley	from: 1981 till: 1983  color:acmc
bar:kelley	from: 1983 till: 1987  color:cmc	text:"Paul X. Kelley"
bar:johndavis	from: 1983 till: 1986  color:acmc	text:"John K. Davis"
bar:crist	from: 1985 till: 1988  color:usmc	text:"George B. Crist"
bar:morgan	from: 1986 till: 1988  color:acmc	text:"Thomas R. Morgan"
bar:gray	from: 1987 till: 1991  color:cmc	text:"Alfred M. Gray, Jr."
bar:went	from: 1988 till: 1990  color:acmc	text:"Joseph J. Went"
bar:dailey	from: 1990 till: 1992  color:acmc	text:"John R. Dailey"
bar:mundy	from: 1991 till: 1995  color:cmc	text:"Carl E. Mundy Jr."
bar:hoar	from: 1991 till: 1994  color:usmc	text:"Joseph P. Hoar"
bar:boomer	from: 1992 till: 1994  color:acmc	text:"Walter E. Boomer"
bar:hearney	from: 1994 till: 1996  color:acmc	text:"Richard D. Hearney"
bar:sheehan	from: 1994 till: 1997  color:usmc	text:"John J. Sheehan"
bar:krulak	from: 1995 till: 1999  color:cmc	text:"Charles C. Krulak"
bar:neal	from: 1996 till: 1998  color:acmc	text:"Richard I. Neal"
bar:zinni	from: 1997 till: 2000  color:usmc	text:"Anthony C. Zinni"
bar:wilhelm	from: 1997 till: 2000  color:usmc	text:"Charles E. Wilhelm"
bar:dake	from: 1998 till: 2000  color:acmc	text:"Terrence R. Dake"
bar:jones	from: 1999 till: 2003  color:cmc
bar:jones	from: 2003 till: 2006  color:usmc	text:"James L. Jones"
bar:pace	from: 2000 till: 2001  color:usmc
bar:pace	from: 2001 till: 2007  color:jcs	text:"Peter Pace"
bar:fulford	from: 2000 till: 2002  color:usmc	text:"Carlton W. Fulford Jr."
bar:williams	from: 2000 till: 2002  color:acmc	text:"Michael J. Williams"
bar:nyland	from: 2002 till: 2005  color:acmc	text:"William L. Nyland"
bar:hagee	from: 2003 till: 2006  color:cmc	text:"Michael W. Hagee"
bar:cartwright	from: 2004 till: 2007  color:usmc
bar:cartwright	from: 2007 till: 2011  color:jcs	text:"James E. Cartwright"
bar:magnus	from: 2005 till: 2008  color:acmc	text:"Robert Magnus"
bar:conway	from: 2006 till: 2010  color:cmc	text:"James T. Conway"
bar:mattis	from: 2007 till: 2013  color:usmc	text:"James N. Mattis"
bar:amos	from: 2008 till: 2010  color:acmc
bar:amos	from: 2010 till: 2014  color:cmc	text:"James F. Amos"
bar:dunford	from: 2010 till: 2013  color:acmc
bar:dunford	from: 2013 till: 2014  color:usmc
bar:dunford	from: 2014 till: 2015  color:cmc
bar:dunford	from: 2015 till: $now  color:jcs	text:"Joseph F. Dunford, Jr."
bar:allen	from: 2011 till: 2013  color:usmc	text:"John R. Allen"
bar:kelly	from: 2012 till: $now  color:usmc	text:"John F. Kelly"
bar:paxton	from: 2013 till: $now  color:acmc	text:"John M. Paxton, Jr."

</timeline>

See also

Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Portal/images/u' not found.

Notes

  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ 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 Officers' 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).
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Posthumously promoted to general by Act of Congress, Jun 1947, with date of rank 23 Jan 1947.
  8. ^ Reverted to lieutenant general, Jan 1952; retired as general, Jun 1954.
  9. ^ Retired as general, Jan 1956; recalled as general, Mar 1956.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ Nominated on May 5, 2015

References

12px This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.

</dl>