Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps

 

Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps

Headquarters Marine Corps

The Office of the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps

The Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps (ACMC) is the second highest ranking officer in the United States Marine Corps and serves as the second-in-command for the Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC). Before the official title “Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps” was adopted in 1946, the title of the position was known as “Assistant to the Commandant” and before 1918, known only as “Duty in the Office of the Commandant”. Few records exist detailing the specific duties of this billet prior to the outbreak of WWI because the Commandant of the Marine Corps had only an administrative staff and no deputy.  Since its establishment by Congress in 1946, 33 Marines have held the position of Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps.

As with the Commandant, the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps is appointed by the President of the United States and must be confirmed by a Senate majority vote. In the event the Commandant is absent or unable to perform his duties, the Assistant Commandant assumes the duties and responsibilities of the Commandant and, with the approval from the Secretary of the Navy, may delegate or prescribe for him. Orders issued by the Assistant Commandant while performing such duties have the same weight as those issued by the Commandant.  For this reason, the Assistant Commandant is promoted to a rank equal to that of the sitting Commandant, a four-star general.

The first “Assistant to the Commandant” was Lieutenant Colonel Eli K. Cole who assumed the position on April 29, 1911. From this date until the adoption of the current position, 19 men were assigned to assist the Commandant in the performance of his duties. The first Marine designated as the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, Major General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr. held the billet from October 17, 1946 to April 14, 1948. Since the position's inception in 1946, seven Assistant Commandants have moved on to become Commandant: Major General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., Lieutenant General Randolph M. Pate, Lieutenant General Leonard F. Chapman, Jr., General Robert H. Barrow, General Paul. X. Kelley, General James F. Amos, and General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr.

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Theater Security Cooperation, Uganda
U.S. Marines with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Africa 19.1, Marine Forces Europe and Africa, construct a motor pool with the Ugandan People's Defence Forces in Jinja, Uganda, Feb. 27 to March 1, 2019. SPMAGTF-CR-AF is deployed to conduct crisis-response and theater-security operations in Africa and promote regional stability by conducting military-to-military training exercises throughout Europe and Africa. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Bethanie Ryan)
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Marine Week Boston - Wrap-up
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Marine Week Boston - Wrap-up
The Marines took to the land, skies to storm the city of Boston. Various Marine units from around the country joined forces Monday at Boston Common to set up displays and showcase equipment used in current day operations. The city’s downtown park will play host helicopters, a CH-53E Super Stallion, an AH-1 Cobra, and UH-1Y Huey and also an MV-22 Osprey. The displays set up kicked off Marine Week Boston, a weeklong series of events showcasing the Corps’ culture, history, traditions and current missions with the citizens of Boston. “The city of Boston and the people that live here have a great opportunity. Most of them don’t get to see Marines on a regular basis,” said Lt. Col. Peter Conlan, the lead planner for Marine Week. A big hit for the crowd of Bostonians, was when the aircraft arrived at Boston Common, flying over the city. Maj. Paul Kopacz, the operations officer for Marine Tiltroter Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 22, 2nd Marine Air Wing, Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., said he hopes that Bostonians will be able to form their own opinions about the Osprey. The displays set up at the park covered a variety of vehicles, weapons systems and aircraft. Marines from Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, had crew-served weapons set up to show Bostonians what the unit uses when deployed to a combat zone. “Growing up as a kid, everyone has their Army men,” said Lance Cpl. Steven Beck, a mortarman with the company and a Springfield, Mo., native. “However, you never get to see it up close. This is our chance to show it up close.” Conlan added that he hoped the Marines would get a chance to learn something about the city of Boston. “It’s an opportunity to show off your town a little bit,” said the Methuen, Mass., native. “A lot of these guys [Marines] will really like Boston, especially this time of year.” For more information about the events in Marine Week Boston, go to facebook.com/MarineWeek or twitter.com/Marineweek.
General Gary L. Thomas

General Gary L. Thomas
Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps
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Former Assistant Commandants

Click here for a list of former Assistant Commandants of the Marine Corps.