General Charles C. Krulak, 31st Commandant of the Marine Corps, was born on 4 March 1942 in Quantico, Virginia. After graduating from The Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, General Krulak attended the U.S. Naval Academy. He graduated from the academy in 1964 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering. General Krulak also holds a Master of Science degree in Labor Relations from The George Washington University (1973). He is a graduate of the Amphibious Warfare School (1968); the Army Command and General Staff College (1976); and the National War College (1982).

Since his commissioning and graduation from The Basic School at Quantico, General Krulak has held a variety of command and staff positions. He commanded a platoon and two rifle companies during his two tours of duty in Vietnam; Commanding Officer, Special Training Branch, and Recruit Series, MCRD, San Diego, California (1966-1968); Commanding Officer Counter-Guerilla Warfare School, NTA, Okinawa (1970); Company Officer, U.S. Naval Academy (1970-1973); Commanding Officer, Marine Barracks, Naval Air Station, North Island, California (1973-1976); and Commanding Officer 3d Battalion, 3d Marines (1983-1985).


General Krulak's staff assignments include: S-3 of the 2d Battalion, 9th Marines (1977-1978); Chief of the Combat Arms Monitor Section, Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C. (1978-1979); Executive Assistant to the Director of Personnel Management, Headquarters Marine Corps (1979-1981); Plans Officer at FMF Pacific (1982-1983); Executive Officer, 3d Marines, 1st MEB; Assistant Chief of Staff for Maritime Prepositioning Ships, 1st MEB; Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, 1st MEB; and the Military Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence, Office of the Secretary of Defense.


He was assigned duty as the Deputy Director of the White House Military Office in September 1987. While serving in this capacity, he was selected for promotion to brigadier general in November 1988. He was advanced to that grade on 5 June 1989, and assigned duties as the Commanding General, 10th Marine Expeditionary Brigade/Assistant Division Commander, 2d Marine Division, FMF, Atlantic, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, on 10 July 1989. On 1 June 1990 he assumed duties as the Commanding General, 2d Force Service Support Group/Commanding General 6th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, FMF, Atlantic, Camp Lejeune. He served in this capacity until 12 July 1991, and was assigned duty as Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (Personnel Management/Personnel Procurement), Headquarters Marine Corps on 5 August 1991. He was advanced to major general on 20 March 1992. General Krulak was assigned as Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico, Virginia on 24 August 1992, and was promoted to lieutenant general on 1 September 1992. On 22 July 1994, he was assigned as Commander of Marine Forces Pacific/Commanding General, Fleet Marine Forces Pacific, headquartered at Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii.


General Krulak was promoted to general 29 June 1995, and assumed duties as the 31st Commandant of the Marine Corps on 1 July 1995.  He retired from the Marine Corps on 30 June 1999.


His personal decorations and awards include: the Defense Distinguished Service Medal; Distinguished Service Medal; Silver Star Medal; Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V” and two gold stars; Purple Heart with gold star; Meritorious Service Medal; Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal; Combat Action Ribbon; Presidential Unit Citation with bronze star; National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star; Vietnam Service Medal with silver star and two bronze stars; Southwest Asia Service Medal with two bronze stars, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon; Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry; Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross Color); Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Civil Actions Color, 1st Class); the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal; and the Kuwait Liberation Medal.


Commandants of the Marine Corps

Marine Corps University