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James L. Jones

Soldier / Government Official

Born: 19 December 1943
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri
Best known as: Barack Obama's National Security Advisor, 2009-10

Name at birth: James Logan Jones Jr.

James L. Jones is the Vietnam veteran and former Marine general who served as National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama from 2009-10. Jones's father was a Marine officer, and Jones grew up in France and learned to speak fluent French while his father was stationed there. He earned a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University in 1966, then entered the Marine Corps as a second lieutenant in 1967. He spent a year fighting in Vietnam (1967-68) and then the next four decades rising through Marine posts around the US, Europe and Middle East. Jones served as Marine Corps commandant from 1999-2003 -- in which post he was a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- and then was NATO's supreme allied commander in Europe (or SACEUR) from 2003-06. He retired from the Marine Corps in February of 2007. No slouch in the networking department, he joined the boards of directors of Boeing and Chevron in 2008. That December, president-elect Obama nominated him to be the next National Security Advisor, and he took office with Obama on 20 January 2009. Jones stepped down from the post in on 8 October 2010 and was succeeded by longtime Obama aide Tom Donilon.

Extra credit: James Jones succeeded Stephen Hadley as National Security Advisor. Condoleezza Rice held the job from 2001-05.... The formal title of the National Security Advisor is "Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs"... Jones is 6'5" tall, according to Time magazine... He is not related to the author James Jones (b. 1921) who wrote the military novels From Here to Eternity and The Thin Red Line... According to his NATO biography, these are the dates of Jones's major promotions in rank: first lieutenant (1968, during service in Vietnam), captain (1970), major (1977), lieutenant colonel (1982), colonel (1988), brigadier general (1992), major general (1994), lieutenant general (1996), general (1999).

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