MajGen Paul J. Rock – USMC

33rd Commandant

Major General Paul J. Rock, USMC, is the 33rd Commandant of the National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington D.C. As the commandant, MajGen Rock leads the formation of academic policies, supervises curriculum planning and preparation, and ensures enduring excellence in classroom teaching.

Born in Baltimore, MD and the son of a soldier, MajGen Rock was commissioned in 1988 upon graduation from the US Naval Academy. Designated a Naval Aviator in 1990, he flew the CH-46E Sea Knight while serving in HMM-263 (1991-95). Following duty as the Air Officer for 3rd Bn, 8th Mar (1995-96), he returned to the cockpit as a flight instructor at HMT-204 (1997).

Selected to conduct MV-22 Osprey operational testing at HMX-1 (1997-2000), he was then an instructor at VMMT-204 (2000-03) and a “plankowner” for the Corps' first operational test squadron, VMX-22 (2003-05). Upon his return from 2d MAW (Forward) staff in G-3 (Plans) in Iraq (2005), he took command of VMM-263, the Marine Corps' first operational MV-22B squadron, and again deployed to Iraq in support of OIF (2006-08).

After squadron command, MajGen Rock attended the National War College (2008-09) and commanded VMMT-204, the Joint USMC/USAF MV-22B training squadron (2009-11). Subsequent O-6 duties included the Joint Staff J-5 Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate (Deputy Directorate-Asia) (2011-13) and the Aviation Expeditionary Enabler Branch Chief and V-22 Cell Lead at Headquarters Marine Corps (2013-14).

General Officer assignments began with Assistant Wing Commander and interim Commanding General of 2d Marine Aircraft Wing (2014-15). He then served in Joint duty as the J5 - Director of Strategy, Policy, & Plans for US Southern Command (2015-17). Shifting to Okinawa, Japan, General Rock served as the 27th Commanding General of Marine Corps Installations Pacific - Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler (2017-19). MajGen Rock was the Commanding General, 3d Marine Expeditionary Brigade and Deputy Commanding General, III Marine Expeditionary Force (2019-20).

MajGen Rock returned from Japan to serve as Director of Strategy and Plans, HQMC Plans, Policies and Operations (2020-2021).

Prior to his current assignment, Major General Rock served as the Commanding General, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command (2021-23).