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Peter Pace, a general in the United States Marine Corps, is the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this capacity, he is second highest ranking officer in the United States Armed Forces. General Pace is the sixth officer to hold the position and the first Marine.
As the Vice Chairman, General Pace serves as the Chairman of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, Vice Chairman of the Defense Acquisition Board, and as a member of the National Security Council Deputies Committee and the Nuclear Weapons Council. In addition, he acts for the Chairman in all aspects of the Planning, Programming and Budgeting System to include participating in meetings of the Defense Resources Board.
General Pace was born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Teaneck, New Jersey. He received his commission in June 1967, following graduation from the United States Naval Academy. He also holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration from George Washington University and attended Harvard University for the Senior Executives in National and International Security program.
Upon completion of The Basic School, Quantico, Va., in 1968, he was assigned to the 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division in the Republic of Vietnam, serving first as a Rifle Platoon Leader and subsequently as Assistant Operations Officer.
Returning from overseas in March 1969, he reported to Marine Barracks, Washington, D. C. During this tour, he served as Head, Infantry Writer Unit, Marine Corps Institute; Platoon Leader, Guard Company; Security Detachment Commander, Camp David; White House Social Aide; and Platoon Leader, Special Ceremonial Platoon. He was promoted to Captain in April 1971. In September 1971, General Pace attended the Infantry Officers' Advanced Course at Fort Benning, Ga. Returning overseas in October 1972, he was assigned to the Security Element, Marine Aircraft Group 15, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Nam Phong, Thailand, where he served as Operations Officer and then Executive Officer.
In October 1973, he was assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D. C., for duty as the Assistant Majors' Monitor. During October 1976, he reported to the 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, Ca., where he served as Operations Officer, 2d Battalion, 5th Marines; Executive Officer, 3d Battalion, 5th Marines; and Division Staff Secretary. He was promoted to Major in November 1977. In August 1979, he reported to the Marine Corps Command and Staff College as a student.
Upon completion of school in June 1980, he was assigned duty as Commanding Officer, Marine Corps Recruiting Station, Buffalo, N. Y. While in this assignment, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in October 1982. Reassigned to the 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, General Pace served from June 1983 until June 1985 as Commanding Officer, 2d Battalion, 1st Marines. In June 1985, he was selected to attend the National War College in Washington, D. C.
After graduation the following June, he was assigned to the Combined/Joint Staff in Seoul, Korea. He served as Chief, Ground Forces Branch until April 1987, when he became Executive Officer to the Assistant Chief of Staff, C/J/G3, United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command/United States Forces Korea/Eighth United States Army.
General Pace returned to Marine Barracks in Washington, D. C. in August 1988 for duty as Commanding Officer. He was promoted to Colonel in October 1988. In August 1991, he was assigned duty as Chief of Staff, 2d Marine Division, Camp Lejeune. During February 1992, he was assigned duty as Assistant Division Commander. He was advanced to Brigadier General on April 6, 1992, and was assigned duty as the President, Marine Corps University/Commanding General, Marine Corps Schools, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico, Va., on July 13, 1992. While serving in this capacity, he also served as Deputy Commander, Marine Forces, Somalia, from December 1992 - February 1993, and as the Deputy Commander, Joint Task Force - Somalia from October 1993 - March 1994. General Pace was advanced to Major General on June 21, 1994, and was assigned as the Deputy Commander/Chief of Staff, U. S. Forces, Japan. He was promoted to Lieutenant General and assigned as the Director for Operations (J-3), Joint Staff, Washington, D. C., on August 5, 1996.
General Pace served as the Commander, U. S. Marine Corps Forces, Atlantic/Europe/South from 23 November 1997 to 8 September 2000. He was promoted to General and assumed duties as the Commander in Chief, United States Southern Command on 8 September 2000 until 30 September 2001.
General Pace's personal decorations include: Defense Distinguished Service Medal, first oak leaf cluster; Defense Superior Service Medal; the Legion of Merit; Bronze Star Medal with Combat V; the Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal with gold star; Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V"; Navy Achievement Medal with gold star; and the Combat Action Ribbon.
General Pace is married and has a son and a daughter.
- Original text from U.S. DoD biography
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