Alfred M. Gray, Jr.

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Alfred M. ("Al") Gray, Jr. (born June 22, 1928) is a retired general, United States Marine Corps, who was the 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps. Widely considered a visionary at the development of warfare, he is associated both with stimulating the intellectual growth of the Marines, as part of the "Maneuvrist" movement.Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; invalid names, e.g. too many

Gray was the senior Marine Corps officer who did the most to foster and bring about acceptance of these maneuver warfare concepts was General Alfred Gray. At the time a brigadier general and head of the Marine Corps Development Center, he was responsible for introducing doctrine for the Corps. Not until he became commanding general of the 2d Marine Division, however, did maneuver warfare concepts become standard practice. By the early 1980s, Wyly, Lind, and a small coterie of junior officers began developing concepts for what would become the Marine model of maneuver warfare.[1]

Simultaneously he reemphasized Marine culture as warfighters; he is the only Commandant whose official portrait shows him in camouflage rather than in full dress uniform.

He was the first service head to introduce a professional reading list for all ranks from private to general, emphasizing that learning was intrinsic to being a Marine. [2]

Gray rose from private to four-star general. Enlisting in the Marines in 1950, he achieved the rank of sergeant, before being selected for officer training and being commissioned a second lieutenant in 1952. As a major during the Vietnam War in 1967, he rose through staff and command assignments with artillery, and commanded the 1st Marine Radio Battalion, a signals intelligence organization. He worked with corps-level intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance in 1969.

Following combat service with the Marines in Vietnam, he commanded battalions and a regiment, and, in 1975, directed Operation FREQUENT WIND, the 1975 evacuation of U.S. personnel from the Republic of Vietnam. After promotion to brigadier general in 1976, he headed a training organization, and then 4th Marine Amphibious Brigade. He took command of the 2nd Marine Division and became a major general in 1980, and then became a lieutenant general commanding Fleet Marine Forces Atlantic. He was promoted to full general and became Commandant in 1987, with the strong support of James Webb, an influential Secretary of the Navy. His Senior Aide and Military Secretary was James L. Jones, who himself rose to general, 32nd Commandant, and now is Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs in the Obama administration.