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First Name: Joseph

Last Name: Hoar

Birthplace: Boston, MA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Middle Name: P.

Date of Birth: 30 December 1934

Rank: General

Years Served: 1957-1994
Joseph P. Hoar

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Joseph P. Hoar
General, U.S. Marine Corps

Joseph P. Hoar was born on 30 December 1934 in Boston, MA. He attended Boston College High School and then went on to graduate from Tufts University, where he was in the Naval Reserve Officers' Training Corps program. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1957. After graduating from the Basic School at Quantico, he was assigned as a Rifle Platoon Commander with the 5th Marine Regiment. Later assignments included duty with 1st Battalion, 1st Marines at Camp Pendleton; Battalion Staff Officer on Okinawa; the Marine Barracks at Yorktown, VA; and Assistant Manpower, Personnel and Administration Officer at Camp Lejeune.

During the Vietnam War, Hoar was assigned with the 2nd Marine Division, Commanding Company M, 3rd Battalion. He later served as a Battalion and Brigade Advisor with a South Vietnamese Marine unit. He then returned to the U.S. where he completed a 3-year tour of duty in Washington, DC, as an Operations Officer and as Special Assistant to the Assistant Marine Corps Commandant. In 1971, he again went overseas as Executive Officer of 1st Battalion, 9th Marines.

From 1972-76, Hoar was an instructor at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, later returning to Marine Headquarters where he served in the Personnel Management Division. In 1977, he returned to 1st Marines as Commander of its 3rd Battalion, later accepting duty with the Division's staff, where he was promoted to Colonel. Hoar served as 1st Marines Regimental Commander from 1979-81.

After completing this tour he was assigned to the 31st Marine Amphibious Unit aboard USS Belleau Wood (LHA-3), participating in three deployments in the Indian Ocean. He then returned to the U.S. as Assistant Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel and Administration, gaining a promotion to Brigadier General in February 1984. In 1985, he returned to Washington as Director of the Facilities and Services Division at Marine HQ. Hoar was Commanding General at the Parris Island Recruit Depot in 1987; later that year he was promoted to Major General.

Hoar moved to MacDill AFB, FL, in 1988 as Chief of Staff for U.S. Central Command. He returned to Headquarters Marine Corps in June 1990, earning a promotion to Lieutenant General while serving as Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Policies and Operations. After a year at this assignment, he returned to CENTCOM as its Commander on 9 August 1991, relieving General H. Norman Schwarzkopf. He remained in that capacity until his retirement three years later.

While in command of CENTCOM, General Hoar oversaw a number of different operations in the region, including enforcement of the Persian Gulf and Red Sea naval embargo; enforcement of the southern no-fly zone over Iraq; ground operations in Somalia; and American troop evacuation from Yemen during that country's civil war in 1994.

General Hoar retired from active service with the Marine Corps on 1 September 1994.


General Hoar holds a Master's degree from George Washington University and is also a graduate of the National War College and the Marine Corps Command and Staff College.

Medals and Awards

Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Bronze Star Medal w/ Valor Device and 1 Award Star
Meritorious Service Medal
Combat Action Ribbon
Navy Unit Commendation
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation
Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal w/ 3 Service Stars
Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation
Vietnam Campaign Medal


Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge

In Retirement

After retirement from the Marine Corps, Hoar set up a consulting company involved in business ventures in various places in the Middle East and Africa. He has served as Director of Hawaiian Airlines; as a Fellow of the World Economic Forum; and on the boards of trustees of Suffolk University and the Center for Naval Analyses.

General Hoar drew upon his experience with CENTCOM in the days leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq to stress the importance of allied cooperation; notably the ability to base military operations from Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Turkey, as key to success in the region. As U.S. strategy for the invasion coalesced, Hoar expressed misgivings, in particular regarding the number of troops committed to the operation.

A year after the official cessation of hostilities, Hoar continued to maintain that coalition forces did not have enough troops on the ground to accomplish their mission. In December 2003, Hoar stated that Assistant Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, "...doesn't know much about the business he's in."In testimony before the Senate committee on Foreign Relations on 19 May 2004, he stated regarding the situation in Iraq, "I believe we are absolutely on the brink of failure. We are looking into the abyss."

On 7 September 2004, Hoar and seven other retired officers wrote an open letter to President Bush expressing their concern over the number of allegations of abuse of prisoners in U.S. military custody. In it they wrote:

"We urge you to commit - immediately and publicly - to support the creation of a comprehensive, independent commission to investigate and report on the truth about all of these allegations, and to chart a course for how practices that violate the law should be addressed."

In March 2006, Hoar joined fellow former U.S. Marines General Tony Zinni; Lt. General Greg Newbold; Lt. General Frank E. Petersen, and Congressman Jack Murtha in endorsing fellow former U.S. Marine and Secretary of the Navy Jim Webb for U.S. Senate in Virginia.

Hoar is currently on the Board of Directors for the Middle East Policy Council, a Washington-based non-profit organization that seeks to educate American citizens and policy makers about the political, economic and security issues impacting U.S. national interests in the Middle East.

Honoree ID: 395   Created by: MHOH




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