National Security Leadership: Are We Prepared For the Complex Challenges of the 21st Century?

General Peter Pace, USMC (ret.)


United States Marine Corps (Retired)

General Peter Pace retired from active duty on 1 October, 2007, after more than 40 years of service in the United States Marine Corps.

General Pace was sworn in as sixteenth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on September 30, 2005.  In this capacity, he served as the principal military advisor to the President, the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council, and the Homeland Security Council.  Prior to becoming Chairman, he served as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  General Pace holds the distinction of being the first Marine to have served in either of these positions.

General Pace was born in Brooklyn, NY and grew up in Teaneck, NJ.  A 1967 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, he 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.  The General is also a graduate of the Infantry Officers' Advanced Course at Fort Benning, GA.; the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, in Quantico, VA; and the National War College, at Ft. McNair, Washington, DC.

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. 

As the Vice Chairman from October 2001 to August 2005, General Pace served 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.

General Pace's personal decorations include:  Defense Distinguished Service Medal, with three oak leaf clusters; the Navy Distinguished Service Medal; the Army Distinguished Service Medal; the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal; the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal; the 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 currently serving on the Board of Directors of several corporate entities involved in management consulting, private equity, and IT security.  He serves on the President's Intelligence Advisory Board, and the Secretary of Defense's Defense Policy Board.  He is a long-standing member of the Board of Directors for the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation - a charity that provides scholarship bonds to children of Marines or Federal law enforcement personnel who were killed while serving our country at home or abroad.

General Pace and his wife, Lynne, have a son, Peter, a daughter, Tiffany Marie, and a daughter-in-law, Lynsey Olczak Pace.

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