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Name: Amos, James F.
Current Position: Former Commandant
In becoming the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, General James F. Amos represents a major break with tradition, making him the first leader of the armed service with a background as a fighter pilot. All previous commandants have been commanders of ground units. With the support of Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced Amos’ nomination on June 21, 2010. He was approved by the Senate on September 30 and sworn in October 22.
Amos graduated from the University of Idaho in 1970, and was designated a naval aviator in 1971.
His operational assignments included tours with Marine Fighter Attack Squadrons 212, 235, 232 and 122, which involved flying F-4 Phantom II jet fighters. In 1985 Amos assumed command of Marine Wing Support Squadron 173. Later, transitioning to the F/A-18 Hornet, he assumed command of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 312 and subsequently joined Carrier Air Wing Eight onboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt. In May 1996, Amos took command of Marine Aircraft Group 31, stationed in Beaufort, South Carolina.

Amos’ staff assignments included tours with Marine Aircraft Groups 15 and 31, the III Marine Amphibious Force, Training Squadron Seven, The Basic School, and with the MAGTF Staff Training Program.
Promoted to Brigadier General in 1998, he was assigned to NATO as deputy commander of Naval Striking Forces in Southern Europe (Naples, Italy). During this tour he commanded NATO’s Kosovo Verification Center, and later served as chief of staff for the U.S. Joint Task Force Noble Anvil during the air campaign over Serbia.
In 2000, he was transferred to the Pentagon, where he was assigned as assistant deputy commandant for aviation.
Reassigned in December 2001, Amos served as the assistant deputy commandant for plans, policies and operations department at Marine Corps headquarters. In August 2002, Amos took command of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in California.
During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, he commanded the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing in Kuwait. He later told a Marine interviewer, “When the Saddam Fedayeen came down and they were picking off our Marines, they became, in my mind, cannibals. And my whole perspective on how we were going to fight this war changed. I decided that I was going to try to destroy every single piece of Iraqi military equipment, and I was going to personally kill every single Iraqi soldier that fought back.”
After Iraq, Amos took command of the II Marine Expeditionary Force from 2004-2006. He subsequently served as the commanding general of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command and as the deputy commandant of Combat Development and Integration from 2006 to July 2008.
In July 2008, Amos became the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, the Corps’ number two spot, a post he held at the time of his selection as commandant. Normally the assistant commander is an aviator who is not promoted to the number one position. Amos will be the first assistant commandant in 27 years to become commandant.
Amos and his wife, Bonnie, were married in 1971.
James F. Amos (Wikipedia)
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