Retired commandant who was ‘widely beloved’ by Marines dies at 95

Retired Gen. Al Gray, a former commandant of theMarine Corps, died at the age of 95 Wednesday.

Gray, who served as the 29th commandant of the Marine Corps, died after an extended period of hospice care, according to a report from Military Times.

Gray served in the Marines for 41 years and as commandant from 1987 to 1991, according to the report, which noted that the decorated veteran was “widely beloved” by Marinesand veterans of the branch.

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Retired Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen Alfred M. Gray (Marine Corps)

He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1950 and earned his commission in 1952, initially serving with the 11th and 7th Marine Regiments, and the 1st Marine Divisionin Korea.

He would later do a tour in Vietnam, where he was awarded a Silver Star Medal in 1967 for rushing into a mined area where one Marine had been killed and two more injured and clearing a 40-meter path so the injured troops could be moved to safety.

Members of the U.S. Marine Corps honor guard salute for the singing of the national anthem during the unveiling ceremony for the new “Distinguished Marines” commemorative stamps Nov. 10, 2005, in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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“Today I mourn with all Marines, past and present, the loss of our 29th Commandant, Gen. Gray,” Gen. Eric M. Smith, 39th commandant of the Marine Corps, said in a press release Wednesday.

Marines stand in formation. (iStock)

“He was a ‘Marine’s Marine’ – a giant who walked among us during his career and after, remaining one of the Corps’ dearest friends and advocates even into his twilight. His contributions are many, including the development of our maneuver warfare doctrine, Warfighting, which remains, to this day, the philosophic bedrock of how we fight as Marines. Although he will be missed by all, his legacy will endure and his spirit will continue to live among us.”

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