On Saturday, 3 November 2012, General Peter Pace, USMC (Ret.), the 16th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was the the 6th Guest of Honor in the history of the Wine Country Marine Corps Birthday Ball. He was the first former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the second retired 4-star General to be our Guest of Honor. The following is a short biography of his extraordinary career:
General Peter Pace retired from active duty on 1 October 2007, after more than 40 years of service in the United States Marine Corps. General 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 as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. General Pace holds the distinction of being the first Marine to have served in either of these positions.
Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Teaneck, New Jersey, General Pace was commissioned in June 1967, following graduation from the United States Naval Academy. He holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration from George Washington University, attended the Havard University Senior Executives in National and International Secuirty program, and graduated from the National War College.
During his distinguished career, General Pace has held command at virtually every level, beginning as a Rifle Platoon Leader in Vietnam. He also served as 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.
In June 2008, General Pace was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor a President can bestow.