Boston native nominated to lead Marine Corps

Boston native Joseph F. Dunford Jr. has been nominated to be the commandant of the Marine Corps.
Colm O’Molloy for The Boston Globe/file 2013
Boston native Joseph F. Dunford Jr. has been nominated to be the commandant of the Marine Corps.

A Boston native who is commander of US forces in Afghanistan has been nominated by President Obama to be the commandant of the US Marine Corps.

The nomination of Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the son of a retired Boston police officer, was announced Thursday by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

A graduate of St. Michael’s College in Vermont, Dunford also holds master’s degrees in government from Georgetown University and in international diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, according to the Defense Department. He will be the 36th commandant of the Marines Corps.


The Globe reported in a profile of Dunford last August that he was a graduate of Boston College High School who lived in South Boston before moving at age 12 to Quincy.

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His father, Joseph Dunford Sr., was a Boston deputy police superintendent who fought with the Marines in the Korean War at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, the Globe reported.

The younger Dunford’s nickname is Fighting Joe, gained during the Iraq invasion.

Dunford, if confirmed by the Senate, would succeed General James F. Amos as the corps’ top officer and as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In a prepared statement, Amos, who is retiring, said he is extremely pleased with the president’s selection of Dunford. “Joe is one of the most knowledgeable and talented leaders and thinkers in the military today,” he said.


He said Dunford’s command of allied forces in Afghanistan had been “extraordinary and is testament to the full measure of the man.”

Information from wire services was used in this report.
Martin Finucane can be reached at martin.finucane