The 30th Commandant of the Marine Corps, retired Gen. Carl E. Mundy Jr., a particularly close friend of the Navy League, died at his Alexandria, Va., home April 2 surrounded by family. He was 78. With him were his sons, Maj. Gen. (Select) Carl E. Mundy III and Col. Timothy S. Mundy, daughter Elizabeth Gunter, and their spouses. He succumbed to a particularly virulent form of cancer. His wife of 56 years, Linda Sloan Mundy, died in June.
Following his retirement in 1995 after a 38-year military career, Gen. Mundy served as president and CEO of the USO as well as chairman of the Marine Corps University Foundation.
In a statement released April 3, Gen. James F. Amos, the 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps, said, “America has lost a valiant warrior, a dedicated public servant, and a good and decent man. He served with honor and distinction through more than four decades of devotion to country and Corps.”
Gen. Mundy had a long and very cordial relationship with the Navy League and with Past National President John M. Rau, starting with a site visit to North Norway during Rau’s National Presidency, North of the Arctic Circle. This followed Rau’s prototypical three- or four-week fleet visit with the Navy in the Indian Ocean in mid 1981.
Past National President Rau shared two vignettes about Gen. Mundy stemming from their long-time and close association:
The first vignette: “After his most successful fleet trip in the Indian Ocean, he discussed doing a similar visit with the Marines with then-Commandant General Robert H. Barrow. He thought that he would go to the Mediterranean with the Marines on operations there but, General Barrow ended up sending him to North Norway, North of the Arctic Circle, in the middle of winter.
When he picked me up at the airport with a jeep and driver, Mundy gave a running account of messages that went back and forth between him as the Commander of the MAU in Norway and Headquarters Marine Corps:
Headquarters: Please provide itinerary and PR experiences for a three-week visit National President of the Navy League in Norway.
Mundy: Uou don’t seem to understand that I have an operation to manage with over 2,000 Marines, six ships, lots of material and working with the Norwegians. I suggest a one-day visit for Rau.
Headquarters: You don’t understand; you WILL have Rau with you for three or four weeks, he is a combat veteran of WWII and Korea and so can be expected to handle himself properly.
Mundy: OK, but this kind of a visit during a high-intensity operation sounds crazy to me.
Mundy: after having met Rau at the airport and done a good reading about the kind of good person he was, concerns are pretty much not there anymore, and subsequent visits with the Commandant and staying at the Commandant’s house at the Barracks, Rau had very pleasant visits with General and Mrs. Mundy.”
Another vignette from Rau: “I sat in on a meeting between Colonel Mundy as MAU Commander and a newly promoted PFC to Corporal. It was a most revealing meeting as the Colonel emphasized to the PFC what it now meant to be non-commissioned officer in the United States Marine Corps and what the responsibilities were. [Rau’s account of the trip appeared in the June 1982 issue of Seapower magazine.]
The United States has lost an outstanding officer and a leader with the death of the Commandant, and the Navy League has lost two great friends in General and Mrs. Mundy, My wife, Kittie, and I have suffered an incalculable loss.”
John M Rau
Past National President 1981-1983
Gunnery Sergeant (H), USMC
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