Brigadier General Vincente T. Blaz retired from the Marine Corps on 1 July 1980. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Reserve Affairs, Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C. He was born in the Territory of Guam and was on the island during the three years of Japanese occupation during World War II.

In 1947, he was awarded a scholarship to the University of Notre Dame, where, upon graduation with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1951, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marines. He subsequently attended George Washington University, Washington, D.C., where he received a Master of Arts degree in 1963.

Service schools he attended include the Navy’s School of Naval Justice for legal officers, Newport, Rhode Island; the Army’s Artillery and Guided Missile School, Fort Sill, Oklahoma; the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Quantico, Virginia; and, the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, where he was designated a Distinguished Graduate. His thesis, The Cross of Micronesia, was published in the Naval War College Review and entered verbatim in the Congressional Record in August 1971.

Brigadier General Blaz served in a variety of command and staff billets throughout the Marine Corps, highlighted in 1972 by his assignment as Commanding Officer, 9th Marine Regiment, which was one of the major units involved in the liberation of his native Guam during World War II.

From September 1972 to August 1975, BGen Blaz served as Chief, United Nations and Maritime Matters Branch, International Negotiations Division, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C. In this assignment, he represented the Joint Chiefs of Staff on U.S. Delegations to several international multi-lateral negotiations in Helsinki (Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe) and Geneva (Law of War) and was an action officer on Law of the Sea matters. For his service in the Joint Staff, he was awarded the Legion of Merit. His other personal decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V”, the Navy Commendation Medal (twice awarded), and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

In December 1974, the University of Guam conferred the degree of Doctor of Laws on BGen Blaz. In 1984, BGen Blaz was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives representing his native Guam.

Brigadier General Blaz passed away at the age of 85 on 8 January 2014.

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