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James L. Jones

General James Logan Jones, Jr. USMC (born December 19, 1943) is the former Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) (2003-2006) and the Commander of the United States European Command (COMUSEUCOM) (2003-2006); and served as the 32nd Commandant of the Marine Corps (July 1999-January 2003). Jones retired from the United States Marine Corps on February 1, 2007 after 40 years of service.

In 2007, Jones served as Chairman of the Congressional Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq, which investigated the capabilities of the Iraqi police and armed forces. In November 2007, he was appointed by the United States Secretary of State as special envoy for Middle East Security.

He is currently the Chairman of the Atlantic Council of the United States.

Early life

Jones was born in Kansas City, Missouri. Having spent his formative years in France, he returned to the United States to attend the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, from which he received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1966. Jones, who is 6-foot, 4-inches, played forward on the Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball team.

In January 1967, Jones was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Military career

Early career

Upon completion of The Basic School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia in October 1967, he was ordered to the Republic of Vietnam, where he served as a platoon and company commander with Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines. While overseas, he was promoted to First Lieutenant in June 1968. For a complete account of Jones' Vietnam experience see "Boys of '67: From Vietnam to Iraq, The Extraordinary Story of a Few Good Men," written by Jones' first cousin, Charles Jones, and published by Stackpole Books in 2006.

Returning to the United States in December 1968, Jones was assigned to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, where he served as a company commander until May 1970. He then received orders to Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., for duties as a company commander, serving in this assignment until July 1973. He was promoted to Captain in December 1970. From July 1973 until June 1974, he was a student at the Amphibious Warfare School, MCB Quantico, Virginia.

In November 1974, he received orders to report to the 3rd Marine Division in Okinawa, Japan where he served as the company commander of Company H, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, until December 1975.

From January 1976 to August 1979, Jones served in the Officer Assignments Section at Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C.. During this assignment, he was promoted to Major in July 1977. Remaining in Washington, his next assignment was as the Marine Corps Liaison Officer to the United States Senate, where he served until July 1984. As Liaison Officer, his first boss was John McCain, then a United States Navy captain. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in September 1982

Senior staff and command

He was selected to attend the National War College in Washington, D.C.. Following graduation in June 1985, he was assigned to command the 3rd Battalion 9th Marines,1st Marine Division, at Camp Pendleton, California, from July 1985 to July 1987.

In August 1987, Jones returned to Headquarters Marine Corps, where he served as Senior Aide to the Commandant of the Marine Corps. He was promoted to Colonel in April 1988, and became the Military Secretary to the Commandant in February 1989. During August 1990, Jones was assigned as the commanding officer of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (24th MEU) at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. During his tour with the 24th MEU, he participated in Operation Provide Comfort in Northern Iraq and Turkey. He was advanced to Brigadier General on April 23, 1992. General Jones was assigned to duties as Deputy Director, J-3, United States European Command, Stuttgart, Germany, on July 15, 1992. During this tour of duty, he was reassigned as Chief of Staff, Joint Task Force Provide Promise, for operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Republic of Macedonia.

Returning to the United States, he was advanced to the rank of Major General in July 1994, and was assigned as Commanding General, 2nd Marine Division, Marine Forces Atlantic, MCB Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. General Jones next served as Director, Expeditionary Warfare Division (N85), Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, during 1996, then as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Policies and Operations, Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C.. He was advanced to Lieutenant General on July 18, 1996. His next assignment was as the Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense.


On April 21, 1999, he was nominated for appointment to the grade of General and assignment as the 32nd Commandant of the Marine Corps. He was promoted to General on June 30, 1999, and assumed the post on July 1, 1999. He served as Commandant until January 2003.

Among other innovations during his career as Marine Corps Commandant, General Jones oversaw the Marine Corps's development of MARPAT camouflage uniforms, and the adoption of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. These replaced the woodland uniforms, and the LINE combat system, respectively.


General Jones assumed duties as the Commander of U.S. European Command on January 16, 2003 and Supreme Allied Commander Europe on January 17, 2003. He is the first Marine Corps general to serve as SACEUR/EUCOM commander.

The Marine Corps had only recently begun to take on a larger share of high-level assignments in the Department of Defense. General Jones was one of five serving Marine Corps four-star general officers who outranked the current Commandant of the Marine Corps (General James T. Conway) in terms of seniority and time-in-grade — the others being Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Peter Pace; former Commandant Michael Hagee, Commander of U.S. Strategic Command James E. Cartwright, and Assistant Commandant Robert Magnus.

As SACEUR, Jones led the Allied Command Operations (ACO), comprising NATO’s military forces in Europe, from the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Mons, Belgium, General Jones relinquished command as SACEUR on December 7, 2006, and was succeeded by United States Army General John Craddock.

General Jones was reported to have declined an opportunity to succeed General John P. Abizaid as Commander of U.S. Central Command, and stepped down as SACEUR on December 4, 2006 and retired from the U.S. Marine Corps on February 1, 2007.


U.S. decorations

General Jones' personal decorations include:
Defense Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Silver Star
Legion of Merit with four gold stars
Bronze Star with Combat "V"
Combat Action Ribbon

Foreign decorations

In January 2007, Jones was awarded Canada's Meritorious Service Cross by Governor General Michaëlle Jean.

Decorations include but not limited to:

Post-military career

Business roles

Following his retirement from the military, General Jones became president of the Institute for 21st Century Energy , an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and chair of the board of directors of the Atlantic Council of the United States. He also served as chair of the Independent Commission on Security Forces of Iraq, sponsored by the Atlantic Council of the United States.

General Jones joined the Board of Directors of the Boeing Corporation on June 21, 2007. He serves on the company's Audit and Finance Committees.

On May 28, 2008, General Jones was elected to the board of directors of Chevron Corporation.

Diplomatic roles

Jones was asked twice by Condoleezza Rice to be Deputy Secretary of State after the resignation of Robert Zoelick. He declined.

On May 25, 2007, Congress created an Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq to investigate for 120 days the capabilities of the Iraq armed forces and police. General Jones served as Chairman of that Commission and reported on Congress on September 6, 2007 noting serious deficiencies in the Iraq Interior Ministry and in the Iraq National Police.

On November 28, 2007, the Secretary of State appointed Jones as a special envoy for Middle East Security. He works with Israelis and Palestinians to strengthen security for both sides.

Political speculation

In June 2008, MSNBC's First Read reported that General Jones was among those being discussed with Senators and Representatives by the vetting team of Senator Barack Obama as a possible Vice Presidential candidate. Gen. Jones recently appeared with McCain, who he stated his support for, effectively quashing rumors of an Obama-Jones ticket.

See also


See also


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