Retired United States Marine Corps 4-Star General, Military Leader
Monumental Achievement: General Peter Pace has devotedly served his country. Pace served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2005–2007 after serving as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the first Marine to hold either of those positions. He retired in 2007 after a distinguished career of more than 40 years of active service in the United States Marine Corps, holding command at virtually every level and serving in Europe, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, and Somalia. In 2008, President Bush presented him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor a president can award. Pace is cofounder and chair of Wall Street Warfighters Foundation and has held advisory positions with a number of other organizations supporting troops and their families, including the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, USO, American Corporate Partners, Snowball Express, and Our Military Kids.
The son of an Italian immigrant who worked as an electrician in New York City, Peter Pace devoted his career to service to his country. When General Pace retired as a four-star general from active duty on October 1, 2007, he had given more than 40 years to the United States Marine Corps and served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2005 to 2007.
Pace was commissioned by the United States Marine Corps in June 1967, following graduation from the United States Naval Academy. He holds a master of science degree in administration from the George Washington University, attended the Harvard University senior executives in national and international security program, and graduated from the National War College.
During his distinguished career, Pace held command at virtually every level, beginning as a rifle platoon leader in Vietnam. He also served as commanding officer of 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment; commanding officer of the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C.; deputy commander, Marine Forces Somalia; deputy commander, Joint Task Force Somalia; director of operations for the Joint Staff; commander, U.S., Marine Forces Atlantic/Europe/South; and commander in chief, U.S. Southern Command.
After finishing at the top of his basic training class and completing a brief course in supporting arms coordination at Camp Pendleton, Pace deployed to Vietnam in February 1968 and assumed command of 2nd Platoon, Company G, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment where he earned the Bronze Star for valor. His military career also included service in Thailand, Washington, D.C., New York, and South Korea, as well as appointment as the president of the Marine Corps University.
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 four years as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Pace holds the distinction of being the first Marine to have served in either of these positions.
In recognition of Pace’s contribution to the nation, in 2008, President Bush presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor a president can bestow. Following retirement, Pace served on the president’s intelligence advisory board and the secretary of defense’s defense policy board. He also held leadership positions in several corporations involved in management consulting, private equity, and information technology security, and taught as a visiting/adjunct faculty member at Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, Fordham University, and Georgetown University. He is cofounder and chairman of Wall Street Warfighters Foundation and has held advisory positions with a number of other organizations designed to support the troops and their families, including the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, USO, American Corporate Partners, Snowball Express, and Our Military Kids.