New Marine Commandant Named at Iwo Jima Ceremony
IWO JIMA, Japan (AP) _ Lt. Gen. Charles C. Krulak was appointed head of the U.S. Marine Corps today as he attended ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of the bloody battle for Iwo Jima.
President Clinton nominated Krulak to take over July 1 from retiring Gen. Carl E. Mundy Jr. Krulak, 53, now commands Marine Forces Pacific, based at Camp Smith, Hawaii.
Navy Secretary John Dalton announced the appointment at a ceremony on Mount Suribachi, which became a symbol of World War II through an Associated Press photograph of five Marines and a Navy medic raising a flag there.
``My father fought in Okinawa and my godfather helped plan the Iwo Jima operation, so to be named here for this post atop Mount Suribachi is very emotional for me,″ Krulak told The Associated Press.
Okinawa, an island in southern Japan, was the U.S. forces’ next stepping stone toward Japan’s main islands after the Iwo Jima battle, in which 6,821 Marines and more than 20,000 Japanese defenders died.
Krulak’s godfather was Holland M. Smith, for whom Krulak’s present base is named.
A 1964 engineering graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Krulak served two tours in Vietnam. As commanding general of 2nd Force Service Support Group at Camp Lejeune, N.C., during the Gulf War, he oversaw development of the largest Marine combat logistics base and the Corps’ largest ammunition supply point in the history of warfare.
``He brings to the job of commandant a dynamic vision of the Marine Corps’ future, a wealth of experience and a highly effective leadership and managerial style,″ Clinton said in a statement issued in Washington shortly after midnight.