The Marine Corps’ #2 officer just tested positive for COVID-19

The Marine Corps' second-highest-ranking officer has tested positive for COVID-19, according to defense officials.

The Marine Corps’ #2 officer just tested positive for COVID-19

The Marine Corps’ second-highest-ranking officer has tested positive for COVID-19.

Gen. Gary L. Thomas, the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on Wednesday. Thomas, 58, had been in self-quarantine since Tuesday “out of an abundance of caution” after being notified he had recently been in contact with someone who later tested positive, a statement from the service said.

“The Marine Corps is following established policies for COVID, per CDC guidelines, to include quarantine and contact tracing,” the statement said. “According to CDC guidelines, any Marine Corps personnel who were in close contact with the general will also quarantine.”

The statement added that Thomas was experiencing “mild symptoms” but otherwise is “feeling well.”

A native of Austin, Texas, Thomas has been the assistant commandant since Oct. 2018. Before that, the naval aviator oversaw the Corps’ programs and resources. 

The positive test for Thomas comes one day after many of the U.S. military’s top officers were forced into quarantine after a meeting with Adm. Charles Ray, the vice commandant of the Coast Guard, who tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.

Ray, who was in meetings at the Pentagon on Oct. 2, also attended a Sept. 27 event for Gold Star families at the White House, which has been scrambling to contain an outbreak of the virus that has infected more than a dozen people, including President Donald Trump.

Other top officers suddenly embracing telework include all members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, with the exception of Gen. David Berger, the Marine commandant.

“We are aware of General Thomas’ positive test for COVID-19,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathon Hoffman said. “At this time we have no additional senior leader positive test results to report. We will continue to follow CDC guidance for self-quarantining and contact tracing.”

Paul Szoldra

Paul Szoldrais the Editor in Chief of Task & Purpose and a Marine Corps veteran. Reach out via email or find him on Twitter at @paulszoldra. Contact the author here.

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