Gen. Peter Pace was sworn in as 16th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Sep. 30, 2005. His resignation was announced Friday.
In this capacity, he serves as the principal military adviser 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.
Gen. Pace was born in Brooklyn, NY and grew up in Teaneck, NJ. A 1967 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, he holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration from George Washington University and attended Harvard University for the Senior Executives in National and International Security program. The general is also a graduate of the Infantry Officers' Advanced Course at Fort Benning, Ga.; the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, in Quantico, VA; and the National War College, at Ft. McNair, Washington, DC.
In 1968, upon completion of The Basic School, Quantico, Va., Pace was assigned to the 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division in the Republic of Vietnam, serving first as a Rifle Platoon Leader and subsequently as Assistant Operations Officer. He was later assigned to Marine Barracks, Washington, DC, where he served in a number of billets, to include Security Detachment Commander, Camp David; White House Social Aide; and Platoon Leader, Special Ceremonial Platoon.
Pace has held command at virtually every level, and served in overseas billets in Nam Phong, Thailand; Seoul, Korea; and Yokota, Japan. While serving as President, Marine Corps University, then Brigadier General Pace also served as Deputy Commander, Marine Forces, Somalia, from December 1992 - February 1993, and as the Deputy Commander, Joint Task Force - Somalia from October 1993 - March 1994.
After an assignment as the Director for Operations (J-3), Joint Staff, Washington, D.C., then Lt. Gen. Pace served as the Commander, U. S. Marine Corps Forces, Atlantic/Europe/South. He was promoted to General and assumed duties as the Commander in Chief, United States Southern Command in September 2000.
As the vice chairman from October 2001 to August 2005, Pace served as the chairman of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, vice chairman of the Defense Acquisition Board, and as a member of the National Security Council Deputies Committee and the Nuclear Weapons Council.
Pace's personal decorations include: Defense Distinguished Service Medal, with two oak leaf clusters; Defense Superior Service Medal; the Legion of Merit; Bronze Star Medal with Combat V; the Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal with gold star; Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V"; Navy Achievement Medal with gold star; and the Combat Action Ribbon.
Pace and his wife, Lynne, have a son, Peter, a daughter, Tiffany Marie, and a daughter-in-law, Lynsey Olczak Pace.