James Logan Jones, Jr. life and biography

James Logan Jones, Jr. picture, image, poster

James Logan Jones, Jr. biography

Date of birth : 1943-12-19
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Politics
Last modified : 2010-06-25
Credited as : Military officer and civil servant, U.S. National Security Advisor, Obama administration

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James Logan Jones, Jr. (born December 19, 1943) is the current United States National Security Advisor and a retired United States Marine Corps four-star general.

Retired U.S. Marine Corps General James L. Jones was tapped to become newly-elected President Barack Obama's national security advisor in December of 2008. The four-star general's career had spanned more than 40 years and included posts as commandant of the Marines and commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military forces. He was also known for his diplomatic prowess and generally viewed as a bipartisan figure.

Diplomatic Marine

Jones was born on December 19, 1943, in Kansas City, Missouri, but grew up in France, where his father worked for International Harvester. He returned to the United States to complete his senior year of high school in Alexandria, Virginia. Next, he attended Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, playing forward for the school's basketball team and graduating in 1966. Jones also went on to graduate from the National War College in 1985, but first he embarked upon what was to be a distinguished career in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Jones was commissioned into the Marine Corps in January of 1967 and sent to Vietnam, where he served as a platoon and company commander and was promoted to first lieutenant. The promotions kept coming for the ensuing four decades, culminating in his becoming a four-star general. Jones's increasingly high profile assignments over the years included liaison officer to the U.S. Senate (1979), battalion commander of the 9th Marines, 1st Marine Division (1985-1987), commander of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (1990-1992), and senior military assistant to the secretary of defense (1997-1999). In July of 1999 he became the 32nd commandant of the Marine Corps. He held the top job until January of 2003, when he was named commander of the U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). The latter role is especially notable in that it entailed command of NATO military forces---Jones was the first Marine ever to hold that position. He retired from his stellar military career on February 1, 2007, and became president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for 21st Century Energy, but another kind of challenge still lay ahead.

Throughout his career, Jones was known for his diplomatic polish, tactical thinking, and ready wit. He was also viewed as bipartisan, having informally advised, for instance, both Senators Barack Obama (Democrat) and John McCain (Republican) during the 2008 presidential race. Thus, after Obama prevailed in the election to become the forty-fourth president of the United States, his choice of Jones to be national security advisor was very well received. Retired two-star Marine General Les Palm was one of the many who approved of Obama's pick. "Jim Jones has always been a notch or two above everybody," Palm told Robert Burns and Richard Lardner of the Houston Chronicle. "He's a good tactician, obviously, in a fight. But he also has a rare combination of being a strategic thinker and a statesman."


Defense Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters; Silver Star Medal; Legion of Merit with four gold stars; Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V"; Combat Action Ribbon; honorary doctorate, Georgetown University.

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