Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos is the first career aviator to hold the position since 1983. As an aviator, he has not earned a Combat Action Ribbon.
It's a topic that has come up with Marines who might disagree with some of Amos' more controversial decisions throughout his tenure. It's a questions that got the attention from the commandant's lead public affairs officer, Lt. Col. Joseph Plenzler, a year ago when questions were raised about Amos' involvement in the prosecution of Marines who urinated on corpses.
A commenter on Facebook by the name of Kyle Kerns wrote on a Marine Corps Times article post writing it was "sad" the commandant had never been in a firefight and Gen. James Mattis should have been named commandant rather than Amos.
According to Marine Corps Times, Plenzler responded to Kerns on Facebook writing: “He has been in many a fight ... probably killed more enemy with his F-18 than any single company of grunts ... has been outside the wire with Marines in both Iraq and Afghanistan ... and General Mattis, who I worked for for 3 years, would be disappointed you posted this."
Last week, Amos and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Michael Barrett held a Town Hall meeting on Facebook taking a host of questions. Midway through, Amos was asked point blank about not owning a Combat Action Ribbon by someone who goes by the name of Jacob InquisitorZombie Frailey. He asked: "Wheres your CAR? As most Marines are asking."
Amos wrote back:
"I have a 1972 VW Convertible in my garage. I bought it as a lieutenant. I'm going to drive away from the Marine Corps in it when I retire."