Board/Staff Profiles

USMC (Ret), 29th Commandant, At-Large Member,
Executive Committee, Al Gray Marine Leadership Forum

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General Al Gray, USMC (Ret)  

USMC (Ret)
29th Commandant
Executive Board Member
Founder, Al Gray Marine Leadership Forum

General Al Gray enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1950. 

  • Advanced to brigadier general in March 1976, General Al Gray served as Commanding General, Landing Force Training Command, Atlantic, and the 4th Marine Amphibious Brigade.
  • Promoted to major general in February 1980, he assumed command of the 2nd Marine Division, FMF, Atlantic, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in June 1981.
  • Following his promotion to lieutenant general on August 29, 1984, General Al Gray was reassigned as Commanding General, FMF, Atlantic/Commanding General, II Marine Expeditionary Force, and Commanding General, FMF, Europe. 
  • General Al Gray was promoted to general and became Commandant of the Marine Corps on July 1, 1987. His appointment as Commandant of the Marine Corps was recommended by Jim Webb, then Secretary of the Navy.

General Al Gray presided over changes in training in the 1970s with an emphasis on large-scale maneuver in desert and cold-weather environments, and changed Marine doctrine to one of maneuver warfare in the 1980s. This transformation from the Vietnam War-era is sometimes called the second enlightenment of the Marine Corps (the first being under Major General John A. Lejeune), and included development of a robust maritime special operations capability, emphasis on the education of leaders, establishment of Marine Corps University, and development of a long-range desert operations capability. As a reminder that the primary role of every Marine is a rifleman, he had his official photograph taken in the Camouflage Utility Uniform, the only commandant to have done so. General Gray is the founder of our Al Gray Marine Leadership Forum. See Commander’s Intent for the Al Gray Marine Leadership Forum’s statement of purpose.