General Alfred M. Gray Jr., the 29th Commandant, has attained iconic status within the Marine Corps. After serving as an enlisted sergeant during the Korean War, becoming an officer, and rising to the commandancy, General Gray was viewed by enlisted and officer alike as the quintessential warrior. As Commandant during the collapse of the Soviet Union, Gray found himself in a transitional moment that called for the transformation of the service. He fostered this warrior image and used it to mold the Corps into his vision of a highly flexible expeditionary fighting force capable of meeting threats in asymmetric low-intensity conflicts as well as conventional battles. The Navy and Marine Corps are currently facing a similar moment in their organizational development, one that calls for dynamic, visionary leaders willing to take chances and drive their services forward into the next iteration of defense policy and strategy.
Discerning the Man from the Myth