Former ISAF Commander Becomes Marine Corps Commandant

Gen. James Amos, the first aviator ever to serve as Marine Corps Commandant, was relieved Friday by Gen. Joseph Dunford, a career infantry officer who recently ended an 18-month tour as commander of the International Security Assistance Force and US Force Afghanistan. In a ceremony at the Marine Corps Barracks in Washington, D.C., Dunford took over a service that is still troubled by what Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said were the many “difficult challenges” that Amos struggled with in his four-year tour. The two Secretaries praised Amos for guiding the drawdown in Afghanistan, reducing the size and reorganizing the Corps after 13 years of war, managing the end of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” restrictions on homosexuals, and beginning an integration of women marines. Hagel also welcomed the new commandant, saying, “We can be very confident that Gen. Joe Dunford will build on his (Amos’) leadership to make the US Marine Corps even stronger than before.” Dunford said his “focus in the coming years will be to take care of our marines and families and to ensure that our Corps remains the expeditionary force in readiness that our nation expects it to be.”