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Kenneth McLennan
General Kenneth McLennan, USMC
Born (1925-05-31)May 31, 1925
Died September 20, 2005(2005-09-20) (aged 80)
Place of birth Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Buried at cremated and his ashes were scattered at sea
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1943–1981
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands held 1st Battalion 9th Marines
3rd Battalion, 5th Marines
Camp H. M. Smith
2nd Marine Division
Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps (1979–1981)
Battles/wars Korean War
Awards Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star
Other work Marine Corps Association, President

General Kenneth McLennan (May 31, 1925 – September 20, 2005) was the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps from 1979 to 1981. In recognition of his distinguished service as Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps and Chief of Staff, the general was presented the Distinguished Service Medal by the Commandant of the Marine Corps upon his retirement on July 1, 1981.


Kenneth McLennan was born on May 31, 1925, in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. In 1943, he graduated from Lowell High School, San Francisco, California.[1] He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco in 1948. He also holds a M.B.A. degree in Transportation Management from the University of California at Los Angeles (1961).

McLennan enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in January 1943 and was commissioned a second lieutenant on July 18, 1945. He was promoted to first lieutenant in July 1948, while on inactive duty status and was recalled to active duty in March 1951.

From March to June 1951, McLennan underwent training at Camp Pendleton, California. He attended the Special Basic Officers School, Quantico, Virginia, from July to November 1951, and in December began a tour at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, as a recruit company commander. He was promoted to captain in June 1952.

McLennan participated in combat operations in Korea as the S-4 Officer, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division from January to July 1953. He later served as Commanding Officer, Company I, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines and as Assistant S-3 Officer, 5th Marines. He integrated into the regular Marine Corps in March 1953.

He returned to the United States in February 1954, and served as Assistant Division Embarkation Officer, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina until June 1955, when he was transferred to Salt Lake City, Utah as Inspector-Instructor, 21st Rifle Company, USMCR. He was promoted to major in July 1956, and in August 1957, he attended the Amphibious Warfare School, Junior Course, Quantico, graduating in July 1958.

From August 1958 until June 1961, McLennan served as a Marine Officer Instructor with the Naval Reserve Officer Training Unit, at the University of California at Los Angeles. He was reassigned to Camp Pendleton, in June 1961, and served as S-4, and later as S-3 Officer, 5th Marines. He also commanded the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, prior to his transfer to Okinawa in April 1963, where he served as Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in July 1963. Upon his return to the United States he commanded the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines.

General McLennan was then assigned as the Director, Services Division, and later, Head, Warehouse and Traffic Branch, Material Division, Marine Corps Supply Center, Albany, Georgia, from June 1964 through July 1966. In June 1967, he completed the Naval War College Newport, Rhode Islandm and was ordered to Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., as Head, General Training Section, Training and Education Branch, G-3 Division. He was promoted to colonel in July 1968 and assigned as Head, Operations Branch G-3 Division.

He was assigned as Division Inspector, 3rd Marine Division, on Okinawa in December 1969, and also was Chief of Staff, 11th Marine Expeditionary Brigade. From May to December 1970, he served in Vietnam as Deputy G-4, and later, as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4, III Marine Amphibious Force. He was reassigned in December 1970 as Assistant G-4 (Plans Officer), Headquarters, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, and subsequently became Commanding Officer, Camp H.M. Smith, in Hawaii.

Following his advancement to brigadier general in September 1972, General McLennan became Marine Corps Liaison Officer (OP-09M), in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. He remained in that billet until June 1974 when he became Director, Manpower Plans and Policy Division, Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C. He was advanced to major general on July 3, 1975, and was assigned as the Commanding General, 2nd Marine Division on June 30, 1976. He was assigned as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Headquarters Marine Corps on July 1, 1978. General McLennan assumed duties as the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps and Chief of Staff on July 1, 1979. He was promoted to general on July 2, 1979. He served in this capacity until his retirement on July 1, 1981. While Assistant Commandant, McLennan also served as president of the Marine Corps Association (the professional association for Marines).[2]

General McLennan died as a result of lung cancer on September 20, 2005 at the age of 80. He was cremated and his ashes scattered at sea.

Decorations and awards

General McLennan's personal decorations and awards include:

Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Navy Distinguished Service Medal Legion of Merit w/ valor device Bronze Star w/ valor device Navy Unit Commendation w/ 1 service star
American Campaign Medal World War II Victory Medal National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 service star Korean Service Medal w/ 2 service star
Vietnam Service Medal w/ 2 service stars Korean Presidential Unit Citation United Nations Korea Medal Vietnam Campaign Medal

See also



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

External links

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