General John K. Davis served as the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps from 1 July 1983 until his retirement on 1 June 1986, after more than 40 years of military service. General Davis was born 14 March 1927, in Hagon, New Mexico. He graduated from Albuquerque High School in 1945, and enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve, attaining the rank of private first class prior to being released to inactive duty. He holds a B.A. degree in Social Studies from the University of New Mexico (1950), and an M.P.A. degree in Public Administration from George Washington University (1963). He was commissioned a Marine second lieutenant in June 1950.

Upon completing The Basic School, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, in March 1951, General Davis was assigned as a platoon commander, 3d Amphibious Training Battalion, Camp Pendleton, California. He was promoted to first lieutenant in June 1952, and the following October he began flight training at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida. He was promoted to captain in December 1953, and designated a Naval Aviator in June 1954. 

General Davis served as a training officer with Marine Night Fighter Squadron 542, Marine Aircraft Group 15, El Toro, California. He remained in that billet until December 1954, when he was transferred to the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, serving in Korea and Japan, as the S-4 Officer, and later, as the S-1 Officer, Marine All-Weather Fighter Squadron 513, Marine Aircraft Group 12. 

He returned to the United States in May 1956, as Operations Officer, Marine Air Control Squadron 4, Marine Wing Headquarters Group, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, at El Toro. He was later reassigned and served consecutively as the aviation safety officer in Marine Attack Squadron 121, Marine Aircraft Group 15, and Marine Attack Squadron 311. 

In July 1959, General Davis was transferred to the Naval Air Station, Beeville, Texas, as S-3 Officer, Training Squadron 26. He was promoted to major in February 1961, and in July 1962, attended the Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. He completed the course in June 1963, and was ordered to Iwakuni, Japan, serving concurrently as S-3 Officer, Marine Wing Headquarters Group 1, and as Officer-in-Charge, Tactical Air Control Center, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. 

From September 1964 to August 1967, he served as a staff officer in the Air Branch, Joint Exercise Planning Division, Headquarters, Allied Forces, Northern Europe, Oslo, Norway. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in January 1966. 

General Davis returned to the United States in September 1967, and served consecutively as Executive Officer, Marine Aircraft Group 14; Commanding Officer, Marine All-Weather Attack Squadron 224; and Commanding Officer, Marine All-Weather Attack Training Squadron 202, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, Cherry Point, North Carolina. He attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Washington, D.C., from August 1968 to June 1969, when he was ordered to the Republic of Vietnam as the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing Aviation Safety Officer, and later, as Executive Officer, Marine Aircraft Group 11. 

He was promoted to colonel in August 1970, and a month later, returned to the United States as Executive Officer, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff (Air), Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C. He remained in that billet until June 1973, when he transferred to El Toro as Commanding Officer, Marine Aircraft Group 46/Marine Air Reserve Training Detachment. He became Assistant Wing Commander, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, El Toro, following his advancement to brigadier general on 1 July 1975 and assigned duty as Commander, Marine Corps Air Bases, Western Area/Commanding General, Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, in June 1976. During this tour, he was advanced to major general on 17 February 1977 and assigned duty as Commanding General, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, MCAS, El Toro. From 6 July 1977 to 8 August 1977 he was assigned additional duty as Commanding General, 1st Marine Amphibious Force, Camp Pendleton. On 15 February 1978, he was assigned duty as the Commanding General, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Camp S.D. Butler, Okinawa. He was assigned duty as the Director of Operations, J-3, Pacific Command, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii on 16 June 1979. General Davis was assigned duty as the Commanding General, FMF, Pacific, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii on 30 June 1981, and was promoted to lieutenant general on 1 July 1981. Upon promotion to general, General Davis assumed his final assignment as Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps on 1 July 1983. 

A complete list of his medals and decorations include: the Defense Superior Service Medal; the Legion of Merit with Combat "V"; the Distinguished Flying Cross; Air Medal with the Numeral 10; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; the National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star; the Republic of Vietnam Service Medal with silver star; the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon; the Korean Order of National Security Merit Gugseon Medal; Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross color); Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Civil Actions color, First Class) and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Assistant Commandants of the Marine Corps

Marine Corps University