Military Wiki
Charles C. Krulak
31st Commandant of the Marine Corps (1995–1999)
Birth name Charles Chandler Krulak
Born March 4, 1942(1942-03-04) (age 80)
Place of birth Quantico, Virginia
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1963-1999
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands held 3rd Battalion 3rd Marines
2nd Force Service Support Group
Marine Forces Pacific
Commandant of the Marine Corps
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Operation Desert Storm
Awards Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star
Bronze Star (3)
Purple Heart (2)
Relations LTG Victor H. Krulak, father

General Charles Chandler Krulak (born March 4, 1942) served as the 31st Commandant of the Marine Corps from July 1, 1995, to June 30, 1999. He is the son of Lieutenant General Victor H. "Brute" Krulak, USMC, who served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. He is currently President of Birmingham-Southern College after his stint as a non-executive director of English association football club Aston Villa.

Early years; education

Charles Chandler Krulak was born in 1942 in Quantico, Virginia,[1] to Amy (Chandler) and Victor H. Krulak. After graduating from Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire in 1960, Krulak attended the United States Naval Academy, graduating in 1964 with a bachelor's degree. Krulak also holds a master's degree in labor relations from George Washington University (1973). He is a graduate of the Amphibious Warfare School (1968); the Army Command and General Staff College (1976); and the National War College (1982).

Marine Corps career

After his commissioning and graduation from The Basic School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Krulak held a variety of command and staff positions. His command positions included: commanding officer of a platoon and two rifle companies during two tours of duty in Vietnam; commanding officer of Special Training Branch and Recruit Series at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California (1966–1968); commanding officer of Counter-Guerilla Warfare School, Northern Training Area on Okinawa (1970), Company officer at the United States Naval Academy (1970–1973); commanding officer of the Marine Barracks at Naval Air Station North Island, California (1973–1976), and commanding officer, 3rd Battalion 3rd Marines (1983–1985). Krulak's staff assignments included: operations officer, 2nd Battalion 9th Marines (1977–1978); chief of the Combat Arms Monitor Section at Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C. (1978–1979); executive assistant to the Director of Personnel Management, Headquarters Marine Corps (1979–1981); Plans Office, Fleet Marine Forces Pacific, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii (1982–1983); executive officer, 3rd Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade; assistant chief of staff, maritime pre-positioning ships, 1st MEB; assistant chief of staff for operations, 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade; and the military assistant to the assistant secretary of defense for command, control, communications and intelligence, Office of the Secretary of Defense. He was assigned duty as the deputy director of the White House Military Office in September 1987. While serving in this capacity, he was selected for promotion to brigadier general in November 1988. He was advanced to that grade on June 5, 1989, and assigned duties as the commanding general, 10th MEB/Assistant division commander, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force Atlantic, at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina on July 10, 1989. On June 1, 1990, he assumed duties as the commanding general, 2nd Force Service Support Group Group/Commanding general, 6th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Fleet Marine Force Atlantic and commanded the 2d FSSG during the Gulf War. He served in this capacity until July 12, 1991, and was assigned duty as assistant deputy chief of staff for manpower and reserve affairs (personnel Management/Personnel Procurement), Headquarters Marine Corps on August 5, 1991. He was advanced to major general on March 20, 1992. General Krulak was assigned as commanding general, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico, on August 24, 1992, and was promoted to lieutenant general on September 1, 1992. On July 22, 1994, he was assigned as commander of Marine Forces Pacific/commanding general, Fleet Marine Force Pacific, and in March 1995 he was nominated to serve as the commandant of the Marine Corps. On June, 29, he was promoted to general and assumed duties as the 31st commandant on June 30, 1995. He was relieved on June 30, 1999, by General James L. Jones.

In 1997 General Krulak became a Life Member of the Sons of the Revolution in the State of California.[2]

General Krulak attracted some attention during his tenure as commandant by his custom of delivering Christmas cookies to each marine duty post in the Washington area.[3]

Post-Marine Corps career

General Krulak joined MBNA America in September 1999 as chief administrative officer, responsible for personnel, benefits, compensation, education, and other administrative services. Krulak has served as the Senior Vice Chairman and chief executive officer of MBNA Europe (2001–2005) and was based at the Chester campus in the UK. He was the executive vice chairman and chief administration officer of MBNA Corporation (2004–2005). He retired from MBNA in 2005.

Following the takeover of English football club Aston Villa by MBNA Chairman Randy Lerner in August 2006 and as of September 19, 2006, General Krulak joined the board of Aston Villa as non-executive director, where he quickly earned the approval of the fans by taking the time to post on various Aston Villa messageboards. Krulak is generally referred to as "The General" by fans on these boards.

Krulak also serves on the boards of ConocoPhillips, Freeport-McMoran (formerly known as Phelps Dodge Corporation) and Union Pacific Corporation.[4][5][6] In addition, he serves on the advisory council of Hope For The Warriors, a national non-profit dedicated to provide a full cycle of non-medical care to combat wounded service members, their families, and families of the fallen from each military branch.[7]

He was elected as the 13th President of Birmingham–Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama on March 21, 2011.

Decorations and medals

General Krulak's decorations and medals include:

Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Silver star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Silver star
Bronze star
US - Presidential Service Badge.png  Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge.png  Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Navy Distinguished Service Medal Silver Star Bronze Star w/ valor device & 2 award stars Purple Heart with gold star
Meritorious Service Medal Navy Commendation Medal Combat Action Ribbon Presidential Unit Citation w/ 1 service star
Navy Unit Commendation Meritorious Unit Commendation National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 service star Vietnam Service Medal w/ 6 service stars
Southwest Asia Service Medal w/ 3 service stars Sea Service Deployment Ribbon w/ 2 service stars Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with palm, silver star, & bronze star Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia) Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
Presidential Service Badge Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge


General Krulak famously referred to the "Strategic Corporal" and the Three Block War as two of the key lessons identified from the deployments in Somalia, Haiti and Bosnia. These concepts are still considered vital in understanding the increasing complexity of modern battlefields.

General Krulak explained some of his warfighting philosophy in an interview with Tom Clancy in Clancy's nonfiction book Marine. Clancy referred to General Krulak as "Warrior Prince of the Corps".

General Krulak also rewrote the Marine Corps' basic combat study text, MCDP-1: Warfighting, incorporating his theories on operations in the modern battlefield.

As Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Krulak had a habit of always taking a few minutes when visiting Marine units to mingle with the junior ranking enlisted Marines, earning him much respect and popularity, but much to the chagrin of his bodyguards who were always supposed to be within an arm's distance of the Commandant.


General Krulak is married to Zandi Meyers from Annapolis. They have two sons, David and Todd. He is the son of Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak, Sr., and the younger brother of Commander Victor H. Krulak Jr, Navy Chaplain Corps and Colonel William Krulak, USMCR.[8] General Krulak stated in an interview that his godfather was Holland M. "Howling Mad" Smith.

See also



 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Gen. Carl E. Mundy, Jr.
Commandant of the United States Marine Corps
Succeeded by
Gen. James L. Jones

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