|Parent agency||Department of the Navy|
|Website||Headquarters Marine Corps website|
Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC) is a headquarters staff within the Department of the Navy which includes the offices of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps and various staff functions. The function, composition, and general duties of HQMC are defined in Title 10 of the United States Code, Subtitle C, Part I, Chapter 506 (Headquarters, Marine Corps).
HQMC "consists of the Commandant of the Marine Corps and those staff agencies that advise and assist him in discharging his responsibilities prescribed by law and higher authority. The Commandant is directly responsible to the Secretary of the Navy for the total performance of the Marine Corps. This includes the administration, discipline, internal organization, training, requirements, efficiency, and readiness of the service. The Commandant also is responsible for the operation of the Marine Corps material support system."
HQMC is currently spread throughout the Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland area, to include the Pentagon, Henderson Hall, Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., Marine Corps Base Quantico, and the Washington Navy Yard.
The commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC) is normally the highest-ranking officer in the United States Marine Corps and is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The CMC reports directly to the United States secretary of the Navy and is responsible for ensuring the organization, policy, plans, and programs for the Marine Corps as well as advising the president, the secretary of defense, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council, and the secretary of the Navy on matters involving the Marine Corps. Under the authority of the secretary of the Navy, the CMC designates Marine personnel and resources to the commanders of Unified Combatant Commands. The commandant performs all other functions prescribed in Section 5043 in Title 10 of the United States Code or delegates those duties and responsibilities to other officers in his administration in his name. As with the other joint chiefs, the commandant is an administrative position and has no operational command authority over United States Marine Corps forces.
The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) is the head of the United States Navy. The position is a statutory office held by a four-star admiral who is a military adviser and deputy to the Secretary of the Navy. In a separate capacity as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff the CNO is a military adviser to the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council, the Secretary of Defense, and the President. The current Chief of Naval Operations is Admiral Michael M. Gilday.
The Secretary of the Navy is a statutory officer and the head of the Department of the Navy, a military department within the United States Department of Defense.
The chain of command leads from the President through the Secretary of Defense down to the newest recruits. The United States armed forces are organized through the United States Department of Defense, which oversees a complex structure of joint command and control functions with many units reporting to various commanding officers. The following is an incomplete list of the various major military units, commands, and DOD offices and agencies, including civilian and military chains of command.
The United States Department of the Navy was established by an Act of Congress on 30 April 1798, to provide a government organizational structure to the United States Navy, the United States Marine Corps and, when directed by the President, the United States Coast Guard, as a service within the Department of the Navy, though each remain independent service branches. The Department of the Navy was an Executive Department and the Secretary of the Navy was a member of the President's cabinet until 1949, when amendments to the National Security Act of 1947 changed the name of the National Military Establishment to the Department of Defense and made it an Executive Department. The Department of the Navy then became, along with the Department of the Army and Department of the Air Force, a Military Department within the Department of Defense: subject to the authority, direction and control of the Secretary of Defense.
Louis Hugh Wilson Jr. was a general in the United States Marine Corps and a World War II recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Battle of Guam. He served as the 26th commandant of the Marine Corps from 1975 until his retirement from the Marine Corps in 1979, after 38 years of service.
General Earl Edward Anderson was an American Marine Corps general. The youngest active duty Marine ever promoted to the rank of general and the first active duty Marine Naval Aviator to be promoted to a 4-star rank, became Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps on April 1, 1972. He was promoted to general on March 31, 1972. General Keith B. McCutcheon had been promoted to four-star rank the day of his retirement for medical reasons on July 1, 1971. During his 35-year Marine career, he served in combat actions in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
Wallace Martin Greene, Jr. was a United States Marine Corps general who served as the 23rd Commandant of the Marine Corps from January 1, 1964, to December 31, 1967.
Thomas Holcomb was the seventeenth Commandant of the United States Marine Corps (1936–1943). He was the first Marine to achieve the rank of general. After retiring from the Marine Corps, Holcomb served as Minister to South Africa (1944–1948). Among his ancestors is Commodore Joshua Barney, a famous Naval hero.
Robert Everton Cushman Jr. was a United States Marine Corps general who served as the 25th commandant of the Marine Corps from January 1, 1972, to June 30, 1975. He was honored for heroism during World War II at the battles of Guam, Bougainville and Iwo Jima. He also commanded all Marine forces in the Vietnam War from June to December 1967, and served as deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 1969 to 1971.
The United States Marine Corps is organized within the Department of the Navy, which is led by the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV). The most senior Marine commissioned officer is the Commandant of the Marine Corps, responsible for organizing, recruiting, training, and equipping the Marine Corps so that it is ready for operation under the command of the unified combatant commanders. The Marine Corps is organized into four principal subdivisions: Headquarters Marine Corps, the Operating Forces, the Supporting Establishment, and the Marine Forces Reserve.
Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) is the acquisition command of the United States Marine Corps, made up of Marines, sailors, civilians and contractors. As the only systems command in the Marine Corps, MCSC serves as Head of Contracting Authority and exercises technical authority for all Marine Corps ground weapon and information technology programs. MCSC is headquartered at Marine Corps Base Quantico.
General Charles E. Wilhelm is a retired United States Marine Corps general who served two combat tours of duty in Vietnam. He later served as Commanding General of the 1st Marine Division; as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense; and as the Commander, U.S. Southern Command (1997–2000). General Wilhelm retired from the Marine Corps in 2000, after 37 years of service.
Ronald S. Coleman is a former United States Marine Corps officer. Coleman, advanced in rank to lieutenant general on October 27, 2006, became the second African-American in the Marine Corps to reach the 3-star rank.
The United States Marine Corps' Judge Advocate Division serves both to advise the Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC) and other officials in Headquarters, Marine Corps on legal matters, and to oversee the Marine Corps legal community. The head of the Judge Advocate Division (JAD) is the Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant.
The structure of the United States Navy consists of four main bodies: the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, the operating forces, and the Shore Establishment.
The Unit Deployment Program (UDP) is a system for assigning deployments of the United States Marine Corps. To reduce the number of unaccompanied tours and improve unit continuity, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, (CMC) established it to provide for the deployment of units to the Western Pacific (WESTPAC) for periods of approximately six months. The initial program was a six-phased evolution that sequenced infantry battalions and aircraft squadrons/detachments into WESTPAC deployments, thus eliminating the 12-month permanent change of station assignments for personnel assigned to these units. The program commenced in October 1977 and has proceeded through the six phases. In August 1985, tank companies began phasing into the program but following Southwest Asia, were discontinued. In Fiscal Year 1987 (FY87) and FY88, Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) companies and direct support artillery batteries were phased in and later, Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR) companies were also included in the program. The Marine Corps’ objective is to adhere as closely as possible to a six-month period of deployment away from a unit's Continental United States (CONUS) home base. In the case of Hawaii-based infantry battalions, which employ a three-battalion rotation base, a seven-month period of deployment is executed to support the Unit Cohesion Program and efficient staffing of first term Marines. It must be understood, however, that shipping or airlift schedule variations, and exercise or contingency operations will occasionally necessitate longer or shorter deployments for participating units. It is imperative that all personnel involved in these deployments be kept fully informed of planned deployment duration and subsequent deployment schedule changes.
The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for conducting expeditionary and amphibious operations with the United States Navy as well as the Army and Air Force. The U.S. Marine Corps is one of the eight uniformed services of the United States.
Glenn Michael Walters is a retired United States Marine Corps General, who served as the 34th Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps from 2016 to 2018. He was appointed as the 20th President of his alma mater, The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina on April 12, 2018.
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