John R. Allen born 1953.he 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
I attended the Flint Hill School in Oakton, Virginia. i graduated with military honors from the U.S.Naval Academy with the Class of 1976, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Operations Analysis.
I was a 1998 Distinguished Graduate of the National War College. I 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, i attended The Basic School and was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, where i served as a platoon and rifle company commander. my next tour took me to Marine Barracks, 8th and I, Washington, D.C. where i served at the Marine Corps Institute and as a ceremonial officer.
I then attended the Postgraduate Intelligence Program of the Defense Intelligence College, where I was the Distinguished Graduate. I subsequently served as the Marine Corps Fellow to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). I 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 , I commanded weapons companies and served as the operations officer of 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines. During this period I received the Leftwich Leadership Trophy. In 1988, I reported to the U.S. Naval Academy where I taught in the Political Science Department and also served as the Jump Officer and Jump Master of the Academy. In 1990, I received the William P. Clements Award as military instructor of the year.
I 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. I had served as a special assistant on the staffs of the 30th Commandant and the Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command. In 1994, I served as the 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.
Following battalion command, I reported as the Senior Aide-de-camp to the 31st Commandant of the Marine Corps, Charles C. Krulak, ultimately serving as his military secretary.
I commanded The Basic School from 1999 to 2001, when I was selected in April 2001 to return to the Naval Academy as the Deputy Commandant. I became the 79th Commandant of Midshipmen in January 2002, the first Marine Corps officer to serve in this position at the Naval Academy. In January 2003, I was nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general.
My first tour as a General Officer was as the Principal Director, Asian and Pacific Affairs in the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense, a position i occupied for nearly three years. From 2006-2008, i served as Deputy Commanding General, II Marine Expeditionary Force and Commanding General, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, deploying to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom . serving as the Deputy Commanding General of Multi-National Forces West and II MEF (Forward) in the Al Anbar Province, Iraq. In January 2007, i was nominated for appointment to the grade of major general.
In June 2008, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced my nomination for promotion to the rank of lieutenant general. i served as the deputy commander of the U.S. Central Command from 15 July 2008 - 1 June 2011 at MacDill Air Force Base. On June 30, 2010, i temporarily commanded Central Command after General David Petraeus left to assume command of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. i served as acting commander until General James Mattis took command on August 11. i was promoted to general by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen prior to his assumption of command of ISAF, and U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) on 18 July 2011.
Foreign awards include the Mongolian Meritorious Service Medal, First Class, the Polish Army Medal in Gold, and the Taiwan Order of the Resplendent Banner with Special Cravat. On March 6, 2012, i received the Polish Afghanistan Star Medal from Polish President, Bronisław Komorowski.
On April 20, 2012 ,i received another Polish award, the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland