Former Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Charles Krulak has just been named president of Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Ala., but he’s making noise across the Atlantic of another kind as he gives the players of the Aston Villa Football Club a pep talk worthy of his four stars.
In a Guardian article Tuesday, Krulak, who is a non-executive director of the Birmingham, England, soccer team, told his players on a fan forum called Villa Talk that “when my Marines put on their uniforms and the emblem of the Corps and went into battle and things got tough, they did not fight for their commander, they fought for their brothers-in-arms, the men wearing their uniform and emblem.”
“What we need now is to quit pointing fingers and everyone look at the claret and blue of our kit and the badge they are wearing and go out and kick the crap out of the next teams we play until the end of the season!”
The team is owned by American Randy Lerner, who also owns the Cleveland Browns, according to Forbes. Lerner is the son of Al Lerner, who founded credit card and banking company MBNA Corp., where Krulak worked as an executive after leaving the Corps.
As president of Birmingham-Southern, he said in published reports, he will forego his first year’s salary to show his commitment to the college’s fiscal health.
This is only the latest in a long and fruitful career for the 31st commandant of the Marine Corps, who retired in June 1999 after more than 35 years in uniform.
Aside from a successful tenure as a senior official at MBNA Europe Bank and MBNA America Bank, Krulak has also served as chairman of the U.S. Naval Academy Board of Visitors, a presidential appointment, and he now serves as co-chairman of the founders group of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, which raised more than $150 million for the first phase of the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Va.
A dyed-in-the-wool warrior, Krulak served two tours of duty in Vietnam and in 1991 led Marines during Operation Desert Storm. His father, Lt. Gen. Victor Krulak served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam and was a recipient of the Navy Cross for actions in World War II.