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Gen John Allen

March 23, 2012 by staff 

Gen John Allen, John R. Allen (born 1953/1954) is a United States Marine Corps four-star general. On July 18, 2011, General Allen assumed command of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) as Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A), succeeding Army General David Petraeus.

John R. Allen attended The Flint Hill School in Oakton, Virginia. He graduated with military honors from the U.S. Naval Academy with the Class of 1976, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Operations Analysis. He is a 1998 Distinguished Graduate of the National War College. He holds a Master of Arts degree in National Security Studies from Georgetown University, a Master of Science degree in Strategic Intelligence from the National Defense Intelligence College, and a Master of Science degree in National Security Strategy from the National War College.

Following commissioning in 1976, Allen attended The Basic School and was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, where he served as a platoon and rifle company commander. His next tour took him to Marine Barracks, 8th and I, Washington, D.C. where he served at the Marine Corps Institute and as a ceremonial officer.

Allen then attended the Postgraduate Intelligence Program of the Defense Intelligence College, where he was the Distinguished Graduate. He subsequently served as the Marine Corps Fellow to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). He was the first Marine Corps officer inducted as a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Returning to the Fleet Marine Force in 1985 he commanded weapons companies and served as the operations officer of 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines. During this period he received the Leftwich Leadership Trophy. In 1988, Allen reported to the U.S. Naval Academy where he taught in the Political Science Department and also served as the Jump Officer and Jump Master of the Academy. In 1990, he received the William P. Clements Award as military instructor of the year.

Allen reported to The Basic School as the Director of the Infantry Officer Course from 1990-1992 and was subsequently selected as a Commandant of the Marine Corps Fellow, serving as a special assistant on the staffs of the 30th Commandant and the Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command. In 1994, he served as Division G-3 Operations Officer for the 2nd Marine Division and subsequently assumed command of 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines; re-designated as 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines. This unit served with JTF 160 in Operation SEA SIGNAL during Caribbean contingency operations in 1994, and as part of the Landing Force of the 6th Fleet in Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR during Balkans contingency operations in 1995-1996.

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