Lieutenant General Ron Christmas is currently an Advisor to the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation and served as the President and CEO from 1997 until his retirement on September 15, 2011. During this period, he successfully led the effort to construct the National Museum of the Marine Corps and Heritage Center.
He was commissioned into the Marine Corps through the NROTC program at the University of Pennsylvania in 1962. He served in various infantry command and staff assignments as a company grade officer including command of Company H, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines in Vietnam. He was seriously wounded during the battle for Hue City in the Tet Offensive of 1968 and for his actions there was awarded the Navy Cross and Purple Heart Medal. Some of his key assignments include Commanding Officer (CO), Marine Barracks, Annapolis, MD; CO,1st Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island; CO, 3rd Marines; Commanding General (CG), 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade; CG, 3rd Force Service Support Group; CG, I Marine Expeditionary Force; and the Director for Operations, US Pacific Command. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1996 after 34 years active duty. His final assignment was Deputy Commandant for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.
From September 1996 until December 2006, as well as being President of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, he served as a Senior Mentor, Marine Air-Ground Task Force Staff Training Program; and the Joint Forces Command. Other projects during the period included Member, Congressional Commission on Military Training and Gender-Related Issues; Adjunct Staff, RAND Corporation; Consultant, Harris Corporation; Member, Board of Advisors, Recruit Military, LLC; Member, Expert Advisory Panel, Workforce Planning and Analysis, Wexford Group; Adjunct Faculty, Joint Forces Staff College; Ex-Officio Trustee, Marine Corps University Foundation; Ex-Officio Governor, Marine Corps Association; and Director, Stone Energy Corporation. With the growth of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation’s mission and enterprises, General Christmas became the full time President and CEO until his retirement in September 2011. He now devotes his time to advising the Foundation, lecturing on the Vietnam War and urban warfare, and public speaking. He served Stafford County, Virginia as the volunteer Chairman of the Community Fund Raising Team supporting the 350th Anniversary Celebration in 2014, and currently serves as a member of the Stafford County Armed Services Memorial Commission, and as a Trustee of the Stafford Hospital Foundation. Other activities include serving as the Chief Archer of the Order of Saint Crispin and the President , Center House Association which supports programs of the Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. He also serves as a member of the Department of Defense Advisory Group for the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War.
Lieutenant General Christmas is married to the former Sherry Lownds. They have 4 children and 13 grandchildren.