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John Archer Lejeune Passes Away

Today in Masonic History John Archer Lejeune passes away in 1942.

John Archer Lejeune was a member the United States Marine Corps.

Lejeune was born in Louisiana in 1867, the son of a Confederate general. In 1884 Lejeune took his entrance exams to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. On being accepted as a midshipman, he graduated from the Academy in 1888 second in his class. After completing a two year cruise as a midshipman he chose a career in the U.S. Marine Corps rather than one in the Navy. In 1890 Lejeune was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps.

Lejeune had a variety of posts and positions leading up to World War I. He also was promoted several times and by the World War I began he had been promoted to colonel. When World War I broke out Lejeune was put in charge of Marine Barrack in Quantico, Virgina. In the summer of 1918 Lejeune was sent to Brest, France where he was promoted to Major General. Lejeune distinguished himself not only the U.S. Military, he received the Distinguished Service Medal (Army) and the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, he was also recognized by foreign governments. France bestowed on Lejeune the Legion of Honor and the Croix de guerre.

On Lejeune's return from World War I he was placed back in command of the Marine Barracks in Quantico, Virgina.

From 1920 to 1929 Lejeune was the Major General Commandant of the Marine Corps. During his time as Commandant the Marine Corps League was established and Lejeune is credited with the creation of the organization. In 1929, after 40 years in the military Lejeune expressed his desire not to retire, although he was relieved as Commandant in March of that year. In November of 1929 Lejeune retired to become Superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute.

Lejeune is often referred to as the "greatest of all Leathernecks" and the "Marine's Marine".

Lejeune received his degrees in Overseas Lodge No. 409 which was chartered under the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island. Back in Washington, D.C. he joined Scottish Rite and the Shrine. There is currently a lodge in Quantico, Virgina named for him, John A. Lejeune Lodge No. 350.