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Area General May Lead Corps

September 07, 2002

A three-star general who commands 45,000 troops based at Camp Pendleton was nominated Friday to be the next commandant of the Marine Corps.

The nomination of Lt. Gen. Michael W. Hagee was announced by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

Hagee, who commands the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, would replace Gen. James L. Jones, who was nominated by President Bush to be the top NATO commander in Europe.

"I'm honored by the nomination and, if confirmed, look forward to continuing to serve corps and country," Hagee said.

If confirmed by the Senate, Hagee, 57, would become a four-star general and would be placed in charge of 173,000 active-duty Marines and 42,000 reservists.

Hagee is a native of Fredericksburg, Texas, and is a Vietnam veteran. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1968.

He has held his post at Camp Pendleton, north of San Diego, for two years.

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