Former Marine Combat Center Commander Mullen Found Dead At 29 Palms Base

Retired Marine Major General William F. Mullen died late last week at the Twentynine Palms Marine base, which he once commanded, under circumstances that are not clear.
Mullen was found dead within Building 1651, housing the base’s electronic training classrooms, on Saturday, June 29. It is not known how long he had been deceased when his body was found.
Mullen was 60. His body is undergoing an autopsic examination by the San Bernardino County Coroner’s Office, which is a division of the sheriff’s department.
It is customary within the U.S. Military for retired officers who achieved general or admiral rank to be given living accommodations at military installations, generally of their own choosing. Mullen, who was then a one-star brigadier general, took on the assignment of the commanding general of the Twentynine Palms base, known officially within the Marine Corps as the Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command and Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in July 2016. While he was in that assignment, Mullen promoted to two-star major general status. On June 8, 2018, he left Twentynine Palms to serve as the Commanding General, Training and Education Command in Quantico, Virginia. He took official retirement from the Marine Corps in 2020.
The Sentinel was given confirmation of Mullen’s death by both the Marine Corps and the sheriff’s department.
The circumstances of his death, the lack of previous medical indicators of concern and his age being below that of life expectancy triggered the involvement of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which is investigating the matter. The Marine Corps is ther maritime land force service branch of the United States Armed Forces, an ostensibly independent branch of the military that serves under the Department of the Navy. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is the law enforcement branch of the Department of the Navy, which conducts criminal investigations as well as routine examinations of the noncombat-related deaths of sailors or Marines.
A graduate of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps program at Marquette University, Mullen was commissioned in 1986 and assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, where he served as a rifle and weapons platoon commander, and battalion training officer from 1987 to 1990.
From 1990-1993 he served as a platoon commander, executive officer and commanding officer of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team Company with the Marine Corps Security Force Battalion, Pacific at Mare Island, where he served as a platoon commander, executive officer and ultimately commanding officer. In this capacity, he deployed to Operation Desert Shield and participated in several counter-narcotics missions in support of Joint Task Force-6, also serving as battalion training officer.
After attending the Advanced Artillery Officer course at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Mullen in 1993 was transferred to 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines (later converted to 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines) at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, as the commanding officer of Fox Company. He participated in Operation Sea Signal in 1994, and deployed to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit from 1995 to 1996 as a company commander with the small boat raid and cliff assault company, participating in contingency operations in the former Yugoslavia. From 1996 to 1999 he served as the inspector-instructor for Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and led a successful counter-narcotics mission in the Los Padres National Forest of California.
In 1999, then-Major Mullen was selected to be the Marine aide to President Bill Clinton and later George W. Bush. He served in that capacity until attending the School of Advanced Warfighting in 2001. After school, he reported to the Joint Operations Division of the Joint Staff, J-3 for duty in the Untied States Indo Pacific Command (PACOM) and the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) sections, and served as executive assistant to the deputy director for regional operations until 2004.
In 2004, having been promoted to lieutenant colonel, he reported to 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune for duty as the division plans officer, and was chosen later that year to be the operations officer for Regimental Combat Team – 8, with whom he deployed to Fallujah, Iraq from 2005 to 2006. After returning, he assumed command of 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines and returned to Fallujah in 2007. Following command he attended the Naval War College from 2008 to 2009, and subsequently commanded the Marine Corps Tactics and Operations Group in Twentynine Palms from 2009 to 2011.
After promotion to brigadier general in 2012, he was assigned as the commanding general, Education Command, and president of Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. He then became director of Capabilities Development Directorate, Combat Development and Integration, and subsequently deployed and served as the director of operations in the Combined Joint Operations Center in Baghdad from June 2015 to June 2016 in support of Iraqi security forces during Operation Inherent Resolve.
In July of 2016, he assumed command of Marine Corps Air Ground Task Force Training Command, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. Upon being succeeded by Brigadier General Roger Turner as the commanding general of the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center and Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command in Twentynine Palms, Mullen was assigned to head the Training and Education Command, located 36 miles from Washington, D.C. in Quantico, Virginia.
Brigadier General Mullen held a BA and MA in political science from Marquette University, as well as an MA in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College. He completed the Advanced Artillery Officer, School of Advanced Warfighting, Airborne, Ranger, Summer Mountain Leader and Royal Marine Arctic Warfare Survival courses. With his wife Vicki, he had three children.

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