KENNETH MCLENNAN, USMC
General Kenneth McLennan retired from the Marine Corps on 1 July 1981. In recognition of his distinguished service as Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps and Chief of Staff, the general was presented the Distinguished Service Medal by the Commandant of the Marine Corps.
General McLennan was born 31 May 1925, in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. He graduated from Lowell High School, San Francisco, California, in 1943, and received his B.S. degree in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco in 1948. He also holds a M.B.A. degree in Transportation Management from the University of California at Los Angeles (1961).
He enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in January 1943, and was commissioned a second lieutenant, 18 July 1945. He was promoted to first lieutenant in July 1948, while in an inactive duty status and was recalled to active duty in March 1951.
From March to June 1951, General McLennan underwent training at Camp Pendleton, California. He attended the Special Basic Officers School, Quantico, Virginia, from July to November 1951, and in December began a tour at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, as a recruit company commander. He was promoted to captain in June 1952.
General McLennan participated in combat operations in Korea as the S-4 Officer, 3d Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, from January to July 1953. He later served as Commanding Officer, Company I, 3d Battalion, 5th Marines and as Assistant S-3 Officer, 5th Marines. He integrated into the regular Marine Corps in March 1953.
He returned to the United States in February 1954, and served as Assistant Division Embarkation Officer, 2d Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, until June 1955, when he was transferred to Salt Lake City, Utah, as Inspector-Instructor, 21st Rifle Company, USMCR. He was promoted to major in July 1956, and in August 1957, he attended the Amphibious Warfare School, Junior Course, Quantico, graduating in July 1958.
From August 1958 until June 1961, General McLennan served as a Marine Officer Instructor with the Naval Reserve Officer Training Unit, at the University of California at Los Angeles. He was reassigned to Camp Pendleton, in June 1961, and served as S-4, and later as S-3 Officer, 5th Marines. He also commanded the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, prior to his transfer to Okinawa in April 1963, where he served as Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 3d Marine Division. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in July 1963. Upon his return to the United States he commanded the 3d Battalion, 5th Marines.
General McLennan was then assigned as the Director, Services Division, and later, Head, Warehouse and Traffic Branch, Material Division, Marine Corps Supply Center, Albany, Georgia, from June 1964 through July 1966. He completed the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, in June 1967, and was ordered to Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., as Head, General Training Section, Training and Education Branch, G-3 Division. He was promoted to colonel in July 1968 and assigned as Head, Operations Branch G-3 Division.
He was assigned as Division Inspector, 3d Marine Division, on Okinawa in December 1969, and also was Chief of Staff, 11th Marine Expeditionary Brigade. From May to December 1970, he served in Vietnam as Deputy G-4, and later, as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4, III Marine Amphibious Force. He was reassigned in December 1970 as Assistant G-4 (Plans Officer), Headquarters, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, and subsequently became Commanding Officer, Camp H.M. Smith, in Hawaii.
Following his advancement to brigadier general in September 1972, General McLennan became Marine Corps Liaison Officer (OP-09M), in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. He remained in that billet until June 1974 when he became Director, Manpower Plans and Policy Division, Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C. He was advanced to major general on 3 July 1975, and was assigned as the Commanding General, 2d Marine Division, on 30 June 1976. He was assigned as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Headquarters Marine Corps on 1 July 1978. General McLennan assumed duties as the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps and Chief of Staff on 1 July 1979. He was promoted to general on 2 July 1979. He served in this capacity until his retirement on 1 July 1981.
General McLennan died as a result of cancer on 20 September 2005 at the age of 80. He was cremated and his ashes scattered at sea.
General McLennan's personal decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with Combat "V", the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V", the Navy Unit Commendation with one bronze star, the American Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the National Defense Service Medal with one star, the Korean Service Medal, with two stars, the Vietnam Service Medal, with two bronze stars, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation, the United Nations Service Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.