Obama Picks Dunford as Next Marine Corps Commandant

The question now is who will replace Gen. Joseph Dunford as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan to oversee the end of the war?

National Journal
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Ben Watson, Defense One
June 5, 2014, 10:06 a.m.

Gen. Joseph Dun­ford, the top U.S. mil­it­ary com­mand­er in Afgh­anistan, has been nom­in­ated by the pres­id­ent to be the next com­mand­ant of the Mar­ine Corps.

The nom­in­a­tion — sub­ject to con­firm­a­tion by the Sen­ate — leaves open the ques­tion of who will take com­mand of the roughly 50,000 U.S. and NATO troops in Afgh­anistan dur­ing a pivotal year as the 13-year war comes to an end.

In a state­ment, Mar­ine Com­mand­ant Gen. James Amos called Dun­ford “one of the most know­ledge­able and tal­en­ted lead­ers and thinkers in the mil­it­ary today. He has com­manded and ex­celled at every level.” He called Dun­ford’s ser­vice in Afgh­anistan” ex­traordin­ary and is test­a­ment to the full meas­ure of the man. Our coun­try and our Mar­ine Corps will be­ne­fit greatly from his con­tin­ued ser­vice.”

A gradu­ate of Army Ranger School, Dun­ford, 58, served as as­sist­ant com­mand­ant of the Mar­ine Corps un­der Amos, who took over from Gen. James Con­way in Oc­to­ber 2010. The po­s­i­tion of com­mand­ant is a four-year term.

Dun­ford took com­mand in Afgh­anistan in Feb­ru­ary 2013, after Gen. John Al­len re­tired. A Bo­ston nat­ive, he also com­manded the 5th Mar­ine Re­gi­ment dur­ing Op­er­a­tion Ir­aqi Free­dom.

Dun­ford earned his un­der­gradu­ate from St. Mi­chael’s Col­lege and was com­mis­sioned in­to the Mar­ine Corps in 1977. He holds an M.A. in In­ter­na­tion­al Re­la­tions from the Fletch­er School of Law and Dip­lomacy as well as an M.A. in Gov­ern­ment from Geor­getown Uni­versity.

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