SAMUEL JASKILKA, USMC (DECEASED)
General Samuel Jaskilka, who became Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps on 1 July 1975, retired on 30 June 1978 after thirty-six years of service.
Samuel Jaskilka was born 15 December 1919, in Ansonia, Connecticut. He completed high school there and graduated from the University of Connecticut where he received a B.S. in Business Administration in May 1942.
He accepted an appointment as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve on 26 September 1942, and was assigned to active duty. He completed the Reserve Officers' Class, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, in 1942, and Sea School at Portsmouth, Virginia, in 1943. He accepted an appointment in the regular Marine Corps in March 1943.
During World War II, General Jaskilka served aboard the USS Princeton and participated in the Tarawa Island raid, the Gilbert Islands Operation, the Marshall Islands Operation, Palau, Yap, Ulithi, Wolei raids, Marianas Operation, Western Caroline Islands Operation and the Leyte Operation. He was promoted to first lieutenant on 22 June 1943.
Upon his return to the United States, he was assigned duty as Instructor, Headquarters Company, Troop Leaders Battalion, Camp Pendleton, California, until August 1945. He was promoted to captain in January 1945. From September 1945 until May 1947, General Jaskilka saw tours of independent duty with District Headquarters Recruiting Station, Manchester, New Hampshire and District Headquarters Recruiting Station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
He completed the Amphibious Warfare School, Junior Course, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, in January 1948, and became Commanding Officer, Marine Detachment, U.S. Naval Air Activities, Port Lyautey, French Morocco. In September 1949, he joined the 1st Marine Division and later embarked with the division for Korea serving successively as Battalion Executive Officer and Commanding Officer of Company E, 2d Battalion, Fifth Marines. For heroism in combat in Korea, he received two awards of the Silver Star Medal and a Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V".
He was promoted to major in January 1951 and returned to the U.S. the following February and served as Monitor, Detail Branch, Personnel Department, Headquarters Marine Corps. In July 1954, he was transferred to Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, for duty as Operations Officer, Marine Corps Test Unit #1. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in December 1955.
Upon completion of the Amphibious Warfare School, Senior Course, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, in June 1957, General Jaskilka saw a three-year tour of duty as Assistant G-3 Operations and Plans Officer with Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. He turned to Quantico in July 1960 and served as an Instructor at the Senior School.
He reported to the 3d Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force in July 1963, and was assigned duty as Executive Officer, Third Marines, and later, Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, SEATO Expeditionary Brigade. Following his return to the United States, he assumed duty as Joint Staff Officer in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and earned the Joint Service Commendation Medal. He was promoted to colonel in July 1964. In August 1966, he was reassigned to Headquarters Marine Corps where he served consecutively as Deputy Manpower Coordinator for Research and Information Systems, G-1 Division; as Director, Data Systems Division; and as Director, Management Analysis Group. He earned the Legion of Merit for his service during the latter two assignments, and was promoted to brigadier general on 18 October 1968.
Ordered to the Republic of Vietnam in February 1969, General Jaskilka served as Assistant Division Commander, 1st Marine Division, and CG, Task Force Yankee. In August 1969, he was reassigned duty as J-3, Operations, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV). He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his Vietnam service.
General Jaskilka returned to the United States in August 1970, and reported to Quantico, where he served as Director, Command and Staff College, then as Deputy for Development/Director. Development Center, Marine Corps Development and Education Command. Following his promotion to major general in August 1972, he became Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1, Headquarters Marine Corps. He served in this capacity until his transfer in July 1973, to Camp Lejeune, where he served as Commanding General, 2d Marine Division. He was promoted to lieutenant general on 2 January 1974 and was assigned as Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower at Headquarters Marine Corps. He remained in that position until he was named Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps. While serving in that capacity, General Jaskilka was advanced to the grade of general, to rank from 4 March 1976.
General Jaskilka passed away on 15 January 2012 from pneumonia at the age of 92. He was laid to rest on 26 January in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.
General Jaskilka holds the following personal decorations; the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star Medal with one gold star in lieu of a second award, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V", the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the National Order of Vietnam, and the Army Distinguished Service Order, 1st Class.
Asisstant Commandants of the Marine Corps