Maj. Gen. James B. Laster has been nominated for promotion to lieutenant general and assignment as director of Marine Corps Staff at the Pentagon, where he would serve as a top adviser to the incoming commandant, Gen. Joseph Dunford, if both are approved by Congress, as expected. (Gunnery Sgt. Cindy Fisher/Marine Corps)
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A Marine two-star has been tapped to receive a third star and serve as the next top adviser to the commandant, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Wednesday.
Maj. Gen. James Laster was nominated to become director of Marine Corps Staff, based at the Pentagon in Washington. Pending congressional approval, Laster will serve as the top assistant and adviser to Gen. Joseph Dunford, who has been nominated to become the 36th commandant of the Marine Corps.
Laster is now chief of staff for U.S. Special Operations Command, based in Florida, where he has served since 2012. Prior to his time with SOCOM, Laster spent a year as the deputy chief of staff for joint operations with the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
He has also served as commanding general of the Japan-based 3rd Marine Division; Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina; and Training and Education Command at Quantico, Virginia. Laster began his Marine Corps career in 1978, when he was commissioned as an officer.
Laster will replace Maj. Gen. Michael Regner as director of Marine Corps Staff. Regner has been serving as the top adviser to Commandant Gen. Jim Amos since July 2013.
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