Defense & National Security

Obama picks Dunford to lead Marines

Obama picks Dunford to lead Marines
First Lady Michelle Obama and Gen. Joseph Dunford stand during the national anthem during a military community event at Memorial Field House at Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 13, 2011. The First Lady and Dr. Biden spoke to 3,000 Marines, soldiers, sailors, and military family members from Camp Lejeune, one of the country's largest Marine Corps bases. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

WASHINGTON, June 5, 2014 – President Barack Obama has nominated Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., who has commanded U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan since February 2013, to be the 36th commandant of the Marine Corps, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced today.If confirmed by the Senate, Dunford will succeed Gen. James F. Amos in the top Marine Corps post.

Hagel said in a statement that he is “delighted that President Obama accepted my recommendation to nominate General Joe Dunford to serve as the 36th Commandant of the Marine Corps.”

Hagel added, “Joe is an extraordinary leader who has always been faithful to his country and his Marines during more than 35 years in uniform. The president and I have greatly relied on Joe’s steady leadership as the commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Thanks to his exceptional abilities, and his commitment to the men and women under his command, we have made progress in Afghanistan and remain on track to responsibly bring America’s longest war to an end later this year.

“No one is better suited to write the next chapter in Marine Corps history than Joe Dunford,” the secretary continued, “and I look forward to working with him in his new role upon his confirmation by the U.S. Senate.”

U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., commander of International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces – Afghanistan, speaks with Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. National Security Advisor, during a visit to Camp Morehead, Afghanistan Nov.23, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class JoAnn Moravac)

Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said there isn’t a timeline for Dunford’s transition out of Afghanistan, and did not say who will replace him there.

Before his tour in Afghanistan, Dunford served for two years as the Marine Corps’ assistant commandant. He has served as an infantry officer at all levels. He commanded the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, and during Operation Iraqi Freedom, he commanded the 5th Marine Regiment.

His joint assignments include service as the executive assistant to the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and chief of the Joint Staff’s Global and Multilateral Affairs Division.

He also has served as the assistant division commander of 1st Marine Division, as the Marine Corps director of operations, as the Joint Staff’s vice director for operations and as Marine Corps deputy commandant for plans, policies and operations. He also commanded the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Forces U.S. Central Command.

The general is a graduate of the U. S. Army Ranger School, Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School, and the U. S. Army War College. He holds a master’s degree in government from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

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