On Saturday the former head of Marine Corps Forces Command, Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force Atlantic Lieutenant General John "Jay" M. Paxton Jr. of Chester PA. pinned on his fourth star to become the 33rd Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps.
At a ceremony at the Marine Barracks in Washington D.C., Paxton was promoted by Marine Corps Commandant General James F. Amos and replaces 32nd ACMC General Joseph F. "Fighting Joe" Dunford Jr. who has been confirmed as the next Commander of the International Security Assistance Force and Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan.
In his remarks Gen. Amos addressed a crowd which included former CMCs James Jones and Alfred Grey and said that the ACMC's job was difficult having had first hand experience of it himself before becoming CMC.
|Gen. James F. Amos, CMC and Debbie Paxton, pin on Gen. John M. Paxton Jr., ACMC his current rank of general during a ceremony, Dec. 15. - Photo: Sgt. Dengrier Baez / Marine Corps|
Gen. Paxton became the Corps sixth currently serving 4-star general, nearly unprecedented for the service which only got it's first 4-star in 1945 after 170 years of existence. U.S. Code of law normally limits the Corps to two 4-star generals - the CMC and the ACMC. Currently, however there are four other USMC generals currently serving in Joint Assignments which do not count towards this limit:
- Gen. Dunford, as aforementioned who is awaiting assignment and preparing for his new position as COMISAF/COMUSFOR-A.
- General John R. Allen, the current COMISAF/COMUSFOR-A and who has been nominated to replace Admiral James G. Stavridis as Supreme Allied Commander Europe [although the nomination is on hold pending the outcome of an Inspector General's investigation of Allen's involvement in the Petraeus affair].
- Lt. General John F. Kelly was promoted to general and took command of U.S. Southern Command in November.
- General James N. "Mad Dog" Mattis is currently Commander, U.S. Central Command but his replacement, Army General Lloyd Austin has been announced and Mattis will have to be appointed elsewhere or retire early next year. Two possibilities under wild speculation are that he could be SACEUR should Gen. Allen's nomination be withdrawn or that he could once again replace David Patraeus [as he did as Commander CENTCOM] as CIA Director.
The bad news is Brasso is now out of stock at Wamart!