General James L. Jones is the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) and the Commander of the United States European Command (COMUSEUCOM). From the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Mons, Belgium, General Jones leads Allied Command Europe (ACE), comprising NATOís military forces in Europe.
Jones was born in Kansas City, Missouri. Having spent his formative years in France, he returned to the United States to attend the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, from which he received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1966. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the US Marine Corps in January 1967. Upon completion of The Basic School, Quantico, Virginia, in October 1967, he was ordered to the Republic of Vietnam, where he served as a Platoon and Company Commander with Company G, 2d Battalion, 3d Marines. While overseas, he was promoted to First Lieutenant in June 1968.
Returning to the United States in December 1968, General Jones was assigned to Camp Pendleton, California, where he served as a Company Commander until May 1970. He then received orders to Marine Barracks, Washington, DC, for duties as a Company Commander, serving in this assignment until July 1973. He was promoted to Captain in December 1970. From July 1973 until June 1974, he was a student at the Amphibious Warfare School, Quantico, Virginia.
From January 1976 to August 1979, Jones served in the Officer Assignments Section at Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, DC. During this assignment, he was promoted to Major in July 1977. Remaining in Washington, his next assignment was as the Marine Corps Liaison Officer to the United States Senate, where he served until July 1984. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in September 1982.
He was selected to attend the National War College in Washington, DC. Following graduation in June 1985, he was assigned to command the 3d Battalion, 9th Marines, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California, from July 1985 to July 1987.
In August 1987, Jones returned to Headquarters Marine Corps, where he served as Senior Aide to the Commandant of the Marine Corps. He was promoted to Colonel in April 1988, and became the Military Secretary to the Commandant in February 1989. During August 1990, Jones was assigned as the Commanding Officer, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. During his tour with the 24th MEU, he participated in Operation Provide Comfort in Northern Iraq and Turkey. He was advanced to Brigadier General on April 23, 1992. General Jones was assigned to duties as Deputy Director, J-3, U.S. European Command, Stuttgart, Germany, on July 15, 1992. During this tour of duty, he was reassigned as Chief of Staff, Joint Task Force Provide Promise, for operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Republic of Macedonia.
Returning to the United States, he was advanced to the rank of Major General in July 1994, and was assigned as Commanding General, 2d Marine Division, Marine Forces Atlantic, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. General Jones next served as Director, Expeditionary Warfare Division (N85), Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, during 1996, then as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Policies and Operations, Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, DC. He was advanced to Lieutenant General on July 18, 1996.
His next assignment was as the Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense. On April 21, 1999, he was nominated for appointment to the grade of General and assignment as the 32d Commandant of the Marine Corps. He was promoted to General on June 30, 1999, and assumed the post on July 1, 1999. General Jones assumed duties as the Commander of U.S. European Command on January 16, 2003 and Supreme Allied Commander Europe on January 17, 2003.
General Jones' personal decorations include: the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit with four gold stars, Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V", and the Combat Action Ribbon.