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Notable Graduates

John H. Russell

John H. Russell

Commandant of the Marine Corps

Class of 1892
  • Commandant of the Marine Corps, 1934-1936



John H. Russell was born 14 November 1872 in Mare Island, California. He was the fourth Commandant in succession to be a graduate of the Naval Academy (Class of 1892). As a colonel he commanded the 1st Marine Brigade in Haiti from 1918 until 1922. After promotion to brigadier general in 1922, he became High Commissioner of Haiti with the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary. He remained in that post until 12 November 1930.He then commanded the Marine bases at San Diego and Quantico, before returning to Washington in February 1933 to become Assistant to the Commandant.

On the retirement of General Fuller in 1934, Russell was appointed Commandant of the Marine Corps. During his tenure, the old system of seniority promotions of officers was changed to that of advancement by selection. In 1933, he set all hands to work at Marine Corps Schools in writing a formal amphibious doctrine. The result, "Tentative Landing Operations Manual", was published in 1935.

General Russell retired 30 November 1936 but continued in an active career as a military journalist until his death in Coronado, California, on 6 March 1947. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

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