Place of birth
Kansas City, Missouri
United States of America
United States Marine Corps
Years of service
3rd Battalion 9th Marines24th Marine Expeditionary Unit2nd Marine DivisionCommandant of the Marine CorpsSupreme Allied Commander, Europe
Vietnam WarGulf War
Defense Distinguished Service Medal (3)Silver StarLegion of Merit (5)Bronze StarFrench L?©gion d'honneurFrench Ordre national du M?©riteCanadian Meritorious Service CrossNATO Meritorious Service Medal
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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James L. Jones
Defense Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Legion of Merit with four gold stars
Bronze Star with Combat "V"
Combat Action Ribbon
In January 2007, Jones was awarded Canada's Meritorious Service Cross by Governor General Michaelle Jean.
France L?©gion d'honneur, Commandeur (Commander)
France Ordre national du M?©rite, Officier (Officer)
Canada Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division); Post-nominal: M.S.C.
Estonia Order of the Cross of the Eagle, Class 1 (Estonian: Kotkaristi I Klassi Teenetem¤rk)
Lithuania Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas, Grand Cross of Commander
Portugal Ancient Military Order of Aviz, Grand Cross
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm
Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation with Palm
NATO Meritorious Service Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal with 1960 date bar
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
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.
Jones was asked twice by Condoleezza Rice to be Deputy Secretary of State after the resignation of Robert Zoellick. 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.
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