LtGen Ron Christmas USMC (Ret)
General Christmas was born in Philadelphia, Pa. Upon graduation from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. degree in 1962, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve through the NROTC program. He also holds an M.S. degree from Shippensburg University (1982).
After completion of The Basic School at Quantico, Va., General Christmas was assigned as a platoon commander in Company L, 3d Battalion, 2d Marines, 2d Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, N.C. He later served as the Battalion Personnel Officer. While at Camp Lejeune, he was promoted to first lieutenant in December 1963. He augmented into the regular establishment in 1965.
In May 1965, he was assigned to the Marine Barracks, 8th & I Sts., S.E., Washington, D.C., where he served as the Executive Officer, and upon promotion to captain in June 1966, as Commanding Officer, Headquarters and Service Company.
He transferred to the Republic of Vietnam in July 1967, where he served successively as Commanding Officer, Service Company, Headquarters Battalion, and Commanding Officer, Company H, 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, FMF. During the Battle for Hue City, Tet '68, General Christmas was seriously wounded and evacuated to the Philadelphia Naval Hospital. For his actions in Hue City, he was awarded the Navy Cross.
After hospitalization, he was assigned to the staff of The Basic School, MCDEC, Quantico, Va., in October 1968, and subsequently attended the Amphibious Warfare School, graduating with distinction. Following graduation in July 1969, he was assigned as an instructor at the U.S. Army's John F. Kennedy Institute for Military Assistance, Fort Bragg, N.C.
Transferring to Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., in July 1971, General Christmas served as the Special Assistant and Aide to the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, until April 1973. During his assignment at Headquarters, he was promoted to major in February 1972.
He returned to The Basic School where he served successively as the Company Tactics Chief; Commanding Officer, Student Company A; and the Tactics Group Chief. From The Basic School, he transferred to the Marine Corps Command and Staff College as a student.
General Christmas returned overseas in July 1975, for duty as the Operations Officer and, later, Executive Officer, 3d Battalion, 4th Marines, 3d Marine Division, FMF, on Okinawa. He transferred back to the states in August 1976 and was assigned as the Commanding Officer, Marine Barracks, Annapolis, Md. While there, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel in September 1978.
From August 1979 until May 1981, he was assigned as the Commanding Officer, First Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C. He was selected to attend the Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa., and participated in the Cooperative Degree Program at Shippensburg University, leading to his master's degree in Public Administration.
In July 1982, General Christmas served for a year as a Naval Operations Officer, J3 Directorate, USCINCPAC, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii, and upon selection to colonel assumed duties as Chief of Protocol, USCINCPAC. In September 1984, he was reassigned as Commanding Officer, 3d Marine Regiment (Reinforced), 1st Marine Amphibious Brigade.
In July 1986, General Christmas was assigned duty as Director, Amphibious Warfare School. While serving in this capacity, he was selected for promotion to brigadier general in December 1987. He was advanced to brigadier general on May 13, 1988, and assigned duty as the Assistant Division Commander, 3d Marine Division, FMF/Commanding General, 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Okinawa, Japan, in June 1988. He assumed command of the 3d Force Service Support Group on Aug. 18, 1989. On May 18, 1990, he again took command of the 9th MEB in addition to his duties as Commanding General, 3d FSSG. He was advanced to major general on June 27, 1991. General Christmas was assigned duty as the Director for Operations (J3), U.S. Pacific Command, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii on July 26, 1991. He was advanced to lieutenant general on July 8, 1993, and assumed duty as Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California. He assumed duty in his current assignment July 15, 1994.
His personal decorations and medals include: the Navy Cross; Defense Distinguished Service Medal; Navy Distinguished Service Medal; Defense Superior Service Medal; Purple Heart; Meritorious Service Medal and three gold stars in lieu of consecutive awards; the Army Commendation Medal; and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with palm.