General Al Gray Passes Away

| March 20, 2024

Gen Al Gray

The 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps – Al Gray – passed away this morning at 0057.

Many people have fond memories of General Gray. He was an advocate for “every Marine a rifleman.” He remains the only Commandant that took his official photo in his cammies.

Al Gray, beloved former Marine Corps commandant, dies at age 95
By Todd South | Mar 20, 2024

Gen. Al Gray, the 29th commandant of the Marine Corps, died Wednesday in his home following an extended period of hospice care.

The 95-year-old New Jersey native rose from private to four-star general, leading the Corps during the fall of the Soviet Union and the Persian Gulf War.

Retired Lt. Gen. George Flynn, who serves as his power of attorney, confirmed that Gray died at 12:57 a.m. from health complications in his Alexandria, Virginia, home where he had been under hospice care.

Gray served as commandant from 1987 to 1991, retiring after 41 years of military service. During his tenure and in retirement he was widely beloved by Marines both in and out of uniform.

The former commandant remained closely tied to Marine initiatives, programs and organizations such as the Marine Corps Association and Foundation, the Semper Fi Fund, the Potomac Institute and various Marine unit functions and events.

Category: Marines

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Godspeed, Fare Well, and Rest Easy, Devil Dog. A Warrior’s Warrior for sure. We could sure use a lot more like him these days.

He summarized the core of leadership—civilian or military, “If you come and join my Marines, I want you to know that your ‘number one’ job is to take care of the men and women you are privileged to lead.”” That such men lived…


A good, working linky on Mon General’…

Prior Service

RIP, Marine. On a side note, though, nothing like looking at an old set of BDUs with an Elvis collar and the BDU carpet clearly doesn’t match the BDU drapes….


Ohhh the spray starch I went through. I remember his poster, had it on the back of our shop door. RIP

Prior Service

I’m all about breaking the starch in the morning and stressing that people will step on my spit-shined boots. Not a fan of the new uniforms, even though I’ve been wearing them since 2006.


I remember standing out on the parade field in June of 1981 while Al Gray was assuming command of 2nd Marine Division. I was in starched cammies and the heat melted the starch. I felt it crawling on my body like cake icing being drizzled. At the end, I felt like a glazed donut, but Gray’s speech was inspiring.

BlueCord Dad

A native son of New Jersey(and my hometown). Semper Fi Sir🇺🇸


One step back, slow salute.

Rest well, sir.

A Proud Infidel®™


President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neande

That such men lived.
RIP, sir, RIP.
(slow salute)


That is one serious smile.
Rest in peace sir.


God, if those eyes could talk

He preceded my time. I believe Carl Mundy was my first Commandant.

Dragoon 45

I was briefing Gen Gray on night during his first CPX with 2nd Mar Div. I was NCOIC of the G-2 OPs night shift. He came in carrying a canteen cup as did the SgtMaj. This was very late at night and I had forgot to spit my dip out before the briefing. Gen Gray interrupts in the middle of my brief and asks me what I had in my lip. I replied Skoal. I was expecting an ass eating, but instead he said he had run out and wanted to bum a dip from me. Long and short of it was starting the next day just about every officer in the HQ was running around carrying a canteen cup, trying to learn how to dip snuff or chew tobacco. I never saw so many green faces in my life.

He was a hell of a leader. Milley and the rest of the current crop of perfumed ass holes we have now would not have made a pimple on Gen Gray’s ass.


Every Marine is rifleman, first. I remember that but not that it came from him. That IS the way it ought to be.


Death didn’t take him.
He relented.

Thank you for all you did.
Rest Well, General.


Semper Fi, General!


Under General Gray, we Marines got green t-shirts (we wore white t-shirts with our cammies before), we got the Utility uniform (cammies) as the uniform-of-the-day, we got the BST (Battle Skills Test) which replaced the Essential Skills Test, and we got taught what “Commander’s Intent” meant. His emphasis was that ALL Marines are warriors, regardless of MOS.


Don’t forget jungle boots approved for full time wear, not just on Okinawa.

Mike B

Seeing his official photo in BDUs reminds me of an incident I was involved in.

Went before the NCO of the Quarter Board in 1995. The recommended uniform was blues, my boss told me to show up in BDUs.

Sitting in the waiting room awaiting my turn before the board, getting a lot of flak from the other people over my uniform, and how I had no chance. Made me wonder if they were right and we made the wrong move.

My turn rolls around, and the board members asked if I got the memo over the recommended uniform. Told yes I did get it and my boss said I didn’t need a pretty blue uniform to look good. That I could impress them with my record, accomplishments, bearing, etc and if not, then I had no business being there in the first place.

Granted my boots were spit polished, my uniform pressed, and I was sporting my typical high and tight haircut.

A few hours later I was informed that I had made NCO of the Quarter. Remarks from the board ranged from the member gave honest/real answers when asked his opinion, knew the answers to every knowledge question asked, military bearing and customs and courtesies spot on, dress and appearance was impeccable although unorthodox. They went on to say the BDU stunt was gutsy, something none of them had seen before, but a honest statement as my record and I could stand on our own.

USAF Retired

USMCMSgt (Ret)

“Lord? Where do we find such men.?


Got to meet him during my first tour with the Marine Corps… a “common sense” type of leader that didn’t put up with bullshit.

Fair Winds and Following Seas, General!