Thursday, November 27, 2008

James Logan Jones, Jr.
General, USMC - RET.

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, and has been selected to be President-elect Barack Obama's National Security Advisor.

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.
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. While at this post (December 1970) he was promoted to Captain. 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
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James L. Jones

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 Michaelle Jean.

Foreign and non-U.S. personal and unit decorations include but not limited to (in order of precedence based on military guidelines and award date):
Gallantry Cross Regiment Citation with Bronze Star
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)

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 Company 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 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.

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
This section documents a current event. Information may change rapidly as the event progresses.

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 appeared with McCain, effectively quashing rumors of an Obama-Jones ticket. During the final debate between Obama and McCain, Obama mentioned Jones as one of the people he would "surround" himself with in regards to national security matters, creating speculation of a possible cabinet position for Jones. As of November 20, reports have surfaced that indicate Jones will be nominated as Obama's national security advisor. General Jones would be the second (former) US Marine (after Robert McFarlane) to hold this office.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Korean War
Frozen Chosin
In November, 1950 eight thousand fighters, most of them United States Marines, struggled to survive the coldest winter in 100 years in North Korea. Surrounded by 120,000 Chinese soldiers, their only lifeline was a 15'-wide, steep mountain road they called the M.S.R. (Main Supply Route) that led to the port city of Hungnam. From Yudam-ni at the north west corner of the Chanjin Reservoir, the MSR was a dangerous, 78-mile journey to the Sea of Japan. The trip was made far more difficult by the massive enemy force surrounding it. The withdrawal, the longest in American military history, would take 13 days and cost many lives. Those who didn't understand what was happening called it a "retreat", while one American general simply said, "We're attacking in a different direction." How you access what happened over those two freezing weeks in North Korea depends on your perspective.

It is adversity that demands valor, trial that demonstrates the highest levels of brotherhood. The Marines at the Chanjin Reservoir, identified on Japanese maps as the CHOSIN Reservoir, pulled together to insure the success of the withdrawal. What many people might have considered to be the darkest two weeks in Marine Corps history, may have in fact, become the Marine Corp's DEFINING MOMENT. With their backs to the wall, the men of the 1st Marine Division pulled together to accomplish the impossible. Their teamwork cemented a band of brothers who came to call themselves:

"The Frozen Chosin"
Theirs Not To Reason Why
The war in Korea began early on the morning of Sunday, June 25, 1950 when nearly one hundred thousand soldiers from the North crossed the 38th parallel that divided South Korea from the Communist North Korea. Unprepared and overwhelmed, the Army of the Republic of Korea was almost destroyed and the South's capitol city of Seoul fell to the invaders within days. Six days later soldiers of the American 24th Infantry arrived to assist the Republic of Korea (ROK) Army in the defense of their homeland, but it was too little, too late. By early fall the future of South Korea was uncertain.
On September 15th United Nations forces, led by General Douglas MacArthur and consisting primarily of United States soldiers and Marines, made the daring landing at Inchon and the tide of battle began to turn. Within weeks it was the North Korean army that was almost destroyed, giving up the cities they had taken earlier and falling back in full retreat behind the 38th parallel. The victory had been swift and decisive, returning control of South Korea to its rightful owners. General MacArthur wanted to follow with steps to insure their future as well.

The divided peninsula of Korea rests between the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea. It's only neighbor sits along the north-east boundary of North Korea. That border is the Yalu River, and that neighbor is the Chinese Manchuria. Fearful of an American sweep into the North following the successful landing at Inchon, the Chinese government issued a warning that if General MacArthur sent his troops north of the 38th parallel, they would be met by soldiers of the Chinese Army. Military planners doubted that the threat was real, and sent the Allied forces north to "neutralize" the forces of North Korea and insure that a repeat of the June 25th invasion would not occur. On October 9, 1950 the first elements of American military units crossed the 38th parallel to take the battle home to the North Koreans. Five days later two Chinese Armies consisting of 12 Divisions (120,000 soldiers) crossed the Yalu River undetected.

For weeks the Chinese soldiers moved into the rugged mountains of North Korea, traveling only under cover of night and camouflaging their positions during the day. As MacArthur's forces moved north in a two-prong front, the 8th Army moving toward the Yalu River from the western side of the peninsula and the 10th Army on the eastern coast, the Americans didn't realize a well hidden, massive force was waiting to pounce on them. On October 25th the hidden enemy attacked, surprising forces of the ROK army. In three days they destroyed four ROK regiments. Still, American war planners were hesitant to believe the Chinese Force was more than just a few scattered units of North Korean soldiers, and committed the men of the 8th and 10th Armies to an offensive campaign to end the war and, as General MacArthur promised, get American soldiers "Home by Christmas".

While the 8th Army was moving up the western edge of North Korea, on the east coast. the port city of Wonsan was taken, followed by the city of Hungman. From there, members of the 1st Marine Division would move northwest on the MSR to the vital Chosin Reservoir. The village of Koto-ri was almost mid-way from Hungnam to the north edge of the reservoir, and the 4,200 Marines of the 1st Marine Regiment set up there. The 1st Marine Division Headquarters was established at Hagaru-ri, a small village at the southern tip of the reservoir. By November 27th 3,000 Americans inhabited Hagaru-ri, most of them engineers, clerks, and supply personnel.

The combat troops, warriors of the 5th and 7th Marine Regiments moved 12 miles northwest to the village of Yudam-ni. From here they were to travel west, crossing the rugged mountains to link up with the 8th Army. That was the plan, but the plan hadn't factored in two unexpected obstacles:

Between 120,000 and 150,000 well hidden Chinese Communist soldiers, and

The worst winter weather conditions in 100 years.

One can only guess how cold it became in the high Taebaek mountains around the Chosin Reservoir during the winter of 1950. At one regimental headquarters the thermometer fell to minus 54 degrees. American Marines shivered in their foxholes, while vehicle drivers were forced to run their engines 24-hour a day. If the engine were shut down, chances were high that it couldn't be restarted. A rare hot meal could quickly freeze in the time it took a Marine to move from the serving line to a place where he could sit down to eat it. Then, to add to the misery, the Chinese launched their surprise attack.

The "Home by Christmas" offensive officially began on November 24th, the day after Thanksgiving. In the west the 8th Army began their push to the Yalu, only to be surprised by an unbelievable swarm of hidden Communist soldiers. Within days the CCF (Chinese Communist Forces) destroyed the ROK II Corps, leaving the 8th without flanking cover or general support. The badly battered 8th Army was ordered to fall back on November 19th, a 275 mile withdrawal that in six weeks cost 10,000 casualties.

On the eastern slope of the Taebaek Mountains most of the Marines were unaware of what was happening in the west, or just how badly outnumbered and surrounded they were. The first indication came on the morning of November 27th as two companies of the 5th Marines began the push from Yudam-ni westward. Before noon they ran into an enemy roadblock. Unaware of the numbers of enemy around them, the Marines engaged the Chinese, destroying the road block. Then enemy fire began to rain on them from all directions. The Marines knew they were in for a fight, one that lasted for nearly four hours. Then, when the firing subsided, the Marines attempted to dig in. The intensity of the battle convinced them that they were facing more than straggling units of North Korean soldiers. They knew the enemy would attack again, in force, under the cover of darkness. They did!

"The American Marine First Division has the highest combat effectiveness in the American armed forces. It seems not enough for our four divisions to surround and annihilate its two regiments. (You) should have one or two more divisions as a reserve force."
MAO ZEDONG's orders to Chinese General Song Shilun

As night fell on November 27, tens of thousands of Chinese soldiers came out of hiding, attacking American soldiers and Marines at all points around the Chosin Reservoir. The two companies dug in to the west of Yudam-ni were shivering from the cold in make-shift foxholes when the overwhelming force attacked. In the darkness the Chinese swarmed the hill, coming within yards of the embattled Marines to toss grenades among them with deadly effectiveness. In one sector of the American perimeter, protected by two machine-guns, the horde quickly over ran one of the key defensive positions. When a grenade landed near the only remaining machine-gun, Staff Sergeant Robert Kennemore recognized the danger to nearby soldiers, as well as the gun emplacement. Quickly he stomped his foot on the grenade to push it into the snow, the subsequent blast throwing his body into the air.

The Marines somehow held through the night, but their heavy losses were quickly visible in the breaking daylight. For S/Sgt Kennemore the cold may have been a lifesaver. He was found, the stumps of his legs frozen in blood-caked snow, still alive. Others were not so fortunate. And it was only the beginning.

From November 27th to December 10th, American soldiers and Marines would find themselves in a battle unlike any other in history. Survival would call for leadership, teamwork, and immense courage. From it was born a brotherhood perhaps unmatched by veterans of any other battle. During the horrible 14 days that followed "LIFE" magazine photographer David Duncan, himself a Marine Corps veteran of World War II, captured many heart-rending images. None, perhaps, was quite as poignant as the one at left. Even more telling was the three simple words spoken by this soldier.

Upon capturing the image with his camera, David Duncan couldn't help asking this soldier, "What would you like for Christmas?" His simple answer echoed the hope of so many young Marines facing a hopeless situation at the Chosin Reservoir. He replied:

"Give Me Tomorrow."

Monday, November 10, 2008

U.S. Marines fight Indian War
Florida Indian War 1836-1847

President: Andrew Jackson
Commandant of the USMC:
Col. Archibald Henderson 1820-1859
Manning of the USMC: 58 Officers, 1,086 enlisted
USMC Causalities*: Dead-8, Wounded-1
Weapons Used:
.50 Cal. U.S. Rifle Model 1819

In 1830, President Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act which mandated the removal of all Indians including the Seven Civilized Tribes, to land west of the Mississippi River.

While the Supreme Court noted that the removal was unconstitutional, President Jackson is quoted as saying, "...they made the decision, let them enforce it..." Jackson then proceeded to send U.S. forces to effect the eviction.

The American Army, at 4000 strong was not able to comply with the presidential desires and the Marine Commandant offered the Corps. Mustering better than 400 regular troops, fully equipped and combat ready from various posts and stations around the Corps; the offer was readily accepted and the Marines departed for operations in Florida.

In 1834 the Supreme Court reversed it's earlier stand, and on 23 May 1836 Marine folklore states that the Commandant nailed a note on the door of Headquarters Marine Corps stating: "...have gone to Florida to fight Indians. Will be back when the war is over. A. Henderson, Commandant."

On 21 May, Army General Order 33, in part, directed the deployment of 2 detachments of Marines for active duty with the army in the field.

By June 23, Henderson and 462 Leathernecks reported for duty with Army General Winfield Scott. Following a 224 mile march in 14 days the Marines turned to operations as ordered.

Most USMC operations were company sized efforts to gather and deport the Indians. Marines also guarded crucial mail and supply lines. One Marine, 2nd Lt. John T. Sprague was the Officer in Charge of a prisoner detachment of Creek Indians on the Trail of Tears.

1836 saw the Marines involved in the suppression of Seminole warriors fighting a guerrilla war in the swamps and hammocks of Florida. By 1838 the campaign, as far as the Marines were concerned, was finished and the Sea Soldiers returned to their accustomed posts.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

United States Marine Corps Birthday

On10 November 2008, the Corps will be 233 years old. This year the birthday will be on Monday. That means the celebration will start on Saturday and end after Veterans Day which is on Tuesday.

In 1921 the famous Gen. John A. Lejeune; 13th Commandant, issued Marine Corps Order. In that order he directed that all Marines on 10 November of each year to honor the founding of the Marine Corps. Thereafter, 10 November became a unique day for U.S. Marines throughout the world.

History of 1st Formal Birthday Ball
The first “formal” Birthday Ball took place in Philadelphia in 1925. First class Marine Corps style, all the way! Guests included the Commandant, the Secretary of War (in 1925 the term “politically correct” didn’t exist; it was Secretary of War, not Secretary of Defense), and a host of statesmen and elected officials. Prior to the Ball, Gen. Lejeune unveiled a memorial plaque at Tun Tavern. Then the entourage headed for the Benjamin Franklin Hotel and an evening of festivities and frolicking.

Cake-cutting Ceremony
Over the years the annual Birthday Ball grew and grew, taking on a life of its own. In 1952 the Commandant, Gen. Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr., formalized the cake-cutting ceremony and other traditional observances. For example, Marine Corps policy now mandates that the first piece of cake must be presented to the oldest U.S. Marine present. The second piece goes to the youngest Marine. Among the many such mandates is a solemn reading of the Commandant’s birthday message to the Corps.

Like the U.S. Marine Corps itself, the annual Birthday Ball has evolved from simple origins to the polished and professional functions of today. Nonetheless, one thing remains constant, the tenth day of November. This unique holiday for warriors is a day of camaraderie, a day to honor Corps and Country. Throughout the world on 10 November, U.S. Marines celebrate the birth of their Corps — the most loyal, most feared, most revered, and most professional fighting force the world has ever known.