General, USMC (Ret.)
29th Commandant of the Marine Corps
General Alfred M. Gray is a former Commandant of the Marine Corps, Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C.
General Gray enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1950. He served overseas with FMF, Pacific, attaining the rank of sergeant before being commissioned a second lieutenant in April 1952. Early tours included service with 11th and 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, in Korea; the 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, at Camp Lejeune, N.C.; and Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., during which he saw service in Guantanamo Bay and Vietnam.
As a major, General Gray joined the 12th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, Vietnam, in October 1965, serving concurrently as Regimental Communications Officer, Regimental Training Officer, and Artillery Aerial Observer. He took command of the Composite Artillery Battalion and U.S. Free World Forces at Gio Linh in April 1967. In September 1967, General Gray was reassigned to the III Marine Amphibious Force in Da Nang, where he commanded the 1st Radio Battalion elements throughout I Corps until February 1968. Following a brief tour in the United States, he returned to Vietnam from June to September 1969 in conjunction with surveillance and reconnaissance matters in the I Corps area.
After his Vietnam tour, General Gray served as Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, Battalion Landing Team 1/2; the 2nd Marines; the 4th Marines; and Camp Commander of Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan. While commanding the 33rd Marine Amphibious Unit and Regimental Landing Team-4, and concurrently serving as Deputy Commander, 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade, General Gray directed the Southeast Asia evacuation operations in 1975.
Advanced to brigadier general in March 1976, General Gray served as Commanding General, Landing Force Training Command, Atlantic, and the 4th Marine Amphibious Brigade. Promoted to major general in February 1980, he assumed command of the 2nd Marine Division, FMF, Atlantic, Camp Lejeune, N.C., in June 1981. Following his promotion to lieutenant general on Aug. 29, 1984, he was reassigned as Commanding General, FMF; Atlantic/Commanding General, II MAF; and Commanding General, FMF, Europe. General Gray was promoted to general and became Commandant of the Marine Corps on July 1, 1987.