Commandant of the Marine Corps

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The Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC) is the senior officer of the United States Marine Corps unless the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff or the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is a Marine officer. He is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, currently for a four-year term, and usually retires after that single term. The incumbent is James Conway, the 34th Commandant.

A member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), he does not directly command operational forces of the Marine Corps, which are under Unified Combatant Commands that report to the Secretary of Defense and the President of the United States; the latter two constitute the National Command Authority.

The CMC reports to the Secretary of the Navy, especially in matters such as Congressional relations, but has complex relationships with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of Defense. While he does not have operational command over naval forces, he has enormous influence.

The Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps acts in his absence.