Marine Lt. Gen. McKenzie Nominated to Lead U.S. Central Command
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTON, Va. — President Donald J. Trump has nominated Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. for appointment to the rank of general, and assignment as commander, U.S. Central Command. McKenzie is currently serving as director of the Joint Staff.
Defense Secretary James N. Mattis made the announcement in an Aug. 22 release. Below are excerpts from his official biography:
A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Lt. Gen. McKenzie was commissioned into the Marine Corps and trained as an infantry officer upon graduation from The Citadel in 1979.
He has commanded at the platoon, company, battalion, Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and component levels. As a lieutenant colonel, he commanded 1st Battalion, 6th Marines. As the commanding officer of the 22d MEU (Special Operations Capable), he led the MEU on combat deployments to Afghanistan in 2004 and Iraq in 2005-2006. In 2006-2007, he served as the military secretary to the 33rd and 34th commandants of the Marine Corps.
In July 2007, upon promotion to brigadier general, he served on the Joint Staff as a deputy director of Operations within the National Military Command Center. In June 2008, he was selected by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to be the director of the chairman’s New Administration Transition Team. In this capacity, he coordinated the efforts of the Joint Staff and the combatant commands in preparing for and executing a wartime transition of administrations.
In June 2009, he reported to the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul, Afghanistan, to serve as the deputy to the deputy chief of staff for Stability. Upon his return from Afghanistan, in July 2010 he was assigned as the director, Strategy, Plans, and Policy for the U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Florida. In August 2012, he reported to Headquarters, Marine Corps, to serve as the Marine Corps representative to the Quadrennial Defense Review. In June 2014, he was promoted to lieutenant general and assumed command of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command. In January 2015, he was assigned to the Joint Staff to serve as the director, J-5, Strategic Plans and Policy, Joint Staff. In July 2017, he assumed responsibilities as the director, Joint Staff.
McKenzie is an honors graduate of the Armor Officer Advanced Course, Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the School of Advanced Warfighting. He was selected as a CMC Fellow in 1999, and served as a senior military fellow within the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University. He has a master’s degree in teaching with a concentration in history.