When the Marines' square-faced, bespectacled Lieut. General Thomas Holcomb, 64, retires on New Year's Day as commandant of the Corps, he will become a full general, the first in the 168-year-old history of the Marines.
A law passed several years ago authorizes officers decorated in World War I for services beyond the call of duty to go up one grade upon retirement. Veteran Tommy Holcomb commanded a Marine battalion in World War I, was under fire at St. Mihiel, Soissons, the Argonne. Lieut. Colonel Holcomb came out strewn with ribbons.
Another award awaits...