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James Amos

31 - Marine Gen. James Amos
2012 Rank: 11

Marine Corps Commandant
As the first aviator commandant in Marine Corps history, Amos gets credit for rescuing the Corps’ most important aircraft program — the short-takeoff and vertical-landing version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter — and with it perhaps the whole JSF program. Saving the F-35 from extinction was just one of a series of priorities Amos brought to office; the others were to finish the hard fight in southern Afghanistan, return the force to its expeditionary roots, prepare for impending budget cuts, protect the short-takeoff and vertical-landing version of the Joint Strike Fighter, and reinstill discipline across a war-weary force. Amos — an old school Marine who joined the Corps in 1970 — got in trouble on the discipline front; his outspoken comments were interpreted by many as apparent command influence. But he demonstrated he can also get results, moving quickly, for example, to get his Marines back on ships, deftly shifting the Corps’ focus from being a landlocked fighting force to a more agile afloat force ready to be America’s first responders for any sort of crisis overseas. 


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Marines Policy Money Afghanistan Special Ops