For the nation's Corps of Marines, 1999 was a year of transition, marked by both the onrush of the millennium and by the quadrennial change of leadership. The Corps moved forward confidently into the 21st Century on a new foundation shaped by General Charles C. Krulak, who retired from his post as 31st Commandant of the Marine Corps of Marines on 1 July.
He was demanding, energetic, and adamant about standards, especially values. Where others rationalized tradeoffs, he invariably stood fast, whether the issue was morals, gender-integrated training, or readiness.
He maintained the Corps' reputation for innovation and, indeed, sought to institutionalize it.
General James L. Jones accepted the Corps' decorated battle color and became the 32nd Commandant. Outwardly, he is a contrast to his pugnacious predecessor. More reticent, General Jones has demonstrated mastery of the arcane congressional budget process and has close ties to many senior members of Congress. He knows when and how to make a deal.