Charles M. Gurganus

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Charles M. Gurganus
MG Charles Gurganus.jpg
Major General Charles Mark M. Gurganus
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch USMC logo.svg United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1976–2013
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Commands held
Battles/wars Iraq War, Afghanistan War

Major General Charles Mark M. Gurganus was a U.S. Marine major general who commanded Regional Command Southwest and I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) in Afghanistan. Prior to that, he was commander of the I Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, California.


Gurganus graduated from the University of North Carolina, and was commissioned in May 1976. After The Basic School, he served as a Rifle Platoon Commander and Company Executive Officer in 2d Battalion, 1st Marines (1977–1979).

Military career[edit]

Gurganus commanded both Special Purpose MAGTF-8 in Haiti and Regimental Combat Team 8 in Anbar Province, Iraq in various capacities from 2005–2008.

From 2010–2011, he was Commander, US Marine Corps Forces Korea and U/C/J-5 (Strategy) of United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command/United States Forces Korea (2009–2011) at Yongsan Garrison in Seoul.[1]

His medals include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legions of Merit with V device, and a gold star (in lieu of a second award).[2]

Following the September 2012 Camp Bastion Raid, General Gurganus and other members of the base's military leadership have come under investigation for negligence. Some guard towers at the base were manned by dummies. Two US service members, Lt. Col. Christopher Raible and Sgt. Bradley Atwell, were killed by enemy rocket fire in the attack. Raible was the commander of the Harrier squadron attached to the base. The entire Harrier squadron was destroyed or rendered combat ineffective as a result of the raid, making the attack the largest hit on US airpower since the Vietnam War.[3]

On September 30, 2013, Major General Gurganus was asked to retire, along with the Marine Major General who commanded the aviation arm at Camp Bastion, Gregg A. Sturdevant (who was censured by the Secretary of the Navy), and both complied.[4] They will both be honorably discharged and will receive full pay, pension, and benefits. Before the investigation, Major General Gurganus had been nominated for a third star as Marine Corps Chief of Staff at the Pentagon; the appointment and the possibility of promotion to lieutenant general have now been rescinded.[5]

Other assignments[edit]

Other operational assignments included assistant Operations Officer, Rifle Company Commander, and Weapons Company Commander with 3d Battalion, 6th Marines (1984–1987); Commanding Officer, 3d Battalion, 6th Marines and G-7, 2d Marine Division (1995–1997); G-3 Current Operations Officer, III Marine Expeditionary Force (2001–2002); Deputy Commander, 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (2002–2003); Commanding Officer, 8th Marine Regiment (2003–2005); Commanding Officer, Regimental Combat Team 8 (March 2005 – August 2005) in Al Anbar Province, Iraq; Operations Officer, 2d Marine Division; Assistant Division Commander, 2d Marine Division (2006–2008).

Supporting Establishment duties included Executive Officer and Commanding Officer, Marine Detachment, USS America (CV-66)(1979–1981); Aide de Camp to CG, MCB, Camp Lejeune (1981–1982); Company Commander at the Infantry Training School (1982–1983); Depot Training Officer, OIC of the Field Training Unit, and Operations Officer of Support Battalion at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C. (1987–1990); OCS Company Commander (1990); and MAGTF Staff Training Program Instructor (1992–1995). Joint assignments include Chief, Deployable Training Team, Joint Warfighting Center, U.S. Joint Forces command (1998–2001).


  1. ^ Major General Charles M. Gurganus,, accessed 25 July 2012. Mark Walker, "MILITARY: Gurganus to lead Marine Corps forces in Afghanistan next year," North County Times, 28 October 2011.
  2. ^ Valor Awards for Charles M. Gurganus, Military Times,, accessed 25 July 2012.
  3. ^ Kovach, Gretel (30 June 2013). "PROBE INTO BASE ATTACK ZEROS IN ON GURGANUS". U-T San Diego. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "2 Generals Forced to Retire for Afghan Breach". ABC News. Retrieved 30 September 2013. 
  5. ^ Courtney Kube (2013-09-30). "Two senior Marine generals forced to retire over deadly Afghan attack". NBC News. Retrieved 2013-10-16.