Lieutenant General Earl B. Hailston served as the Commander, U.S. Marine Forces Pacific/Commander, U.S. Marine Forces Central Command/Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific/Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Bases, Pacific headquartered at Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii. He assumed his current assignment on August 10, 2001.
General Hailston enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1967. Following graduation from boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina, he was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division for duty as an infantry rifleman. He received his commission in 1968 through the Enlisted Commissioning Program.
Upon completing The Basic School, he was assigned to the Fifth Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California, where he served as a rifle platoon commander with Company I, 3rd Battalion, 27th Marines. In July 1969, he was transferred to 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, in the Republic of Vietnam.
In January 1971, he reported to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing where he served as the aide-de-camp to the Assistant Wing Commander. In January 1972, he reported to Pensacola, Florida, for flight training.
Captain Hailston received his wings in June 1973 and returned to Cherry Point for training in the F-4. He then reported to VMFA-312, MAG-14 as the squadron S-1. The squadron relocated to MAG-31, Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, South Carolina, in July 1974.
In 1976, Captain Hailston attended the Amphibious Warfare School, followed by an assignment to MAG-15 in Iwakuni, Japan. Returning to MCAS Yuma, Arizona in 1978, he was assigned to VMFAT-101 as the training officer and operations officer until his transfer to Air Command and Staff College in 1981. While at Maxwell Air Force Base he completed his undergraduate degree at Troy State University.
In August 1982, Major Hailston reported to Headquarters, Marine Corps where he served in the Aviation Training Branch and as administrative assistant to the Chief of Staff, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. Upon promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, he was reassigned as Assistant Secretary to the General Staff.
In 1985, Lieutenant Colonel Hailston reported to MAG-31 as the group executive officer and later as Commanding Officer, VFMA-312. In 1988, he attended the U.S. Army War College followed by an assignment to Korea as the Combined Forces Command/U.S. Eighth Army Operations Plans Officer and later Executive Assistant to the C/J/G-3.
Colonel Hailston returned from Korea in 1991 and reported to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing where he served as the Wing G-3. He assumed command of Marine Aircraft Group 31 on May 29, 1992. He was promoted to Brigadier General in May of 1994 and was assigned as the Commanding General, 3rd Force Service Support Group, FMF, Pacific, Okinawa, Japan. He was reassigned in July 1996 as the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, Installations and Logistics (Facilities), Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, Washington, D.C. In March 1997 Major General Hailston assumed the duties of U.S. Pacific Command Director of Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5), where he served until June 1999. Assuming command of the III Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Corps Bases Japan in June 1999, he was promoted to Lieutenant General in August 1999. He relinquished command of III MEF in July 2001.
General Hailston's personal decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (DDSM), the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star with Combat "V", the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon.