Friday, July 15, 2005

Goodman to take over
Pacific Marines

A Marine general, who started as an Army ranger in the Vietnam War and briefly was a New Orleans Saints football player, has been nominated to head the Marine Corps in the Pacific and Southwest Asia.


John Goodman: The former Army ranger is picked to lead U.S. Marine Corps Pacific

The Pentagon announced yesterday that Maj. Gen. John Goodman, who assumed duties as deputy commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific in June, will take over the top spot, relieving Lt. Gen. Wallace Gregson, who has been commander since August 2003.

Goodman will receive his third star following Senate approval of his promotion.

Gregson will retire after 37 years of service, turning over the flag of his command to Goodman later this summer. His service includes the Vietnam War, Operation Restore Hope in Somalia and Operation Desert Storm.

Goodman will head the largest field command in the Marine Corps, which stretches from the West Coast to the Persian and Arabian gulfs. He began his military career in 1967 after graduating from Arizona State University. In Vietnam he was part of an Army long-range reconnaissance patrol team.

In 1969, Goodman transferred to the inactive Army Reserve and played professional football with the New Orleans Saints before returning to the military and enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1971.

Goodman, a jet pilot, came to Camp Smith after serving as commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Korea and assistant chief of staff at the United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, and U.S. Forces.

Goodman has commanded the 2d Marine Expeditionary Brigade. From August 2002 until June 2004, Goodman headed the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing stationed on Okinawa.

He will assume command of 74,000 Marines and sailors, with 7,000 stationed at Camp Smith and Kaneohe Bay. The two major components of his new command are the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton in California and 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force on Okinawa.

In 2002 the headquarters left Camp Smith to help coordinate from Bahrain Marine combat operations in Southwest Asia for two years.

Marine Corps Forces Pacific

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