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General John F. Kelly named Board Chairman

July 12, 2016

Dumfries, Va. – General John F. Kelly, USMC (Ret), one of the U.S. military’s longest serving commanders, has been named Chairman of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation’s Board of Directors, effective April 23, 2016. Gen Kelly will lead the Foundation as it completes construction of the final phase of the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

A native of Boston, Gen Kelly enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1970 and was discharged in 1972 at the rank of Sergeant. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts, he returned to the Marine Corps as a commissioned officer. Gen Kelly deployed to Iraq twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, first with 1st Marine Division, then as Commanding General of I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). He rose to the rank of four-star general in 2012 when he was selected to lead U.S. Southern Command. Gen Kelly retired on January 14, 2016 after 45 years of service.

“On behalf of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, we are both honored and proud to have Gen Kelly, one of our nation’s most accomplished military leaders, serve as our new Chairman,” stated LtGen Robert R. Blackman, Jr., USMC (Ret), President and CEO of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. “Gen Kelly understands more than most the service and sacrifice of today’s Marines, making him the most fitting person to take charge as the Foundation works to ensure Marines from 1976 through today have permanent galleries telling their stories in the National Museum of the Marine Corps.”

The Foundation is currently carrying out a campaign to fund the completion of the National Museum of the Marine Corps. Construction is already underway on an additional 117,000 square feet of physical space that will make room for two historical galleries depicting the service of the men and women who served in the Marine Corps from the end of the Vietnam War. The space will also include a giant-screen theater, expanded education suite and Children’s Gallery, a Sports Gallery, Art Gallery, Hall of Valor and more. The construction is scheduled to be finished in 2017, with galleries beginning to open the same year. All exhibitions are expected to be completed in 2020.

Daniel Gregory

About the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation
Dedicated to the preservation and promulgation of Marine Corps history, the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation was established in 1979 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. The Foundation supports the historical programs of the Marine Corps in ways not possible through government funds. The Foundation provides grants and scholarships for research and the renovation, restoration, and commissioning of historical Marine Corps artifacts. Securing the necessary funding for the complete construction of the National Museum of the Marine Corps and Heritage Center, located in Triangle, Virginia, is the Foundation’s current primary mission while continuing to provide program support for the Corps’ historical, museum, and educational activities. For more information, visit

The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation. Your charitable donations to the MCHF are tax deductible as allowed by law.
Tax ID # 26-0803466.

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