Gen. Raymond Odierno, Who Commanded U.S. Forces in Iraq, Dies at 67

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The retired general’s military career spanned several decades and countries

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A native of Rockaway, NJ, General Odierno graduated from the US Military Academy in West Point, NY in 1976 with a commission in field artillery. He served in a wide range of Army and Department of Defense roles with several tours abroad, including Iraq, Germany, Albania and Kuwait. As a three-star general, he was an assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a job that made him chief military adviser to the Secretary of State.

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General Odierno made three visits to Iraq from 2008 to 2010, lasting two years, as the top US commander in Baghdad. He was succeeded in that position by General Lloyd Austin, who is now Secretary of Defense. General Odiorno served as the commander of the Multinational Corps in Iraq from 2006 to 2008.

When General Odiorno retired in 2015, he was replaced as Chief of Army Staff by the current Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley.

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In a ceremony marking his retirement from the military, then-Secretary of Defense Ash Carter described General Odiorno as a commander whose tenacity and understanding of operations gave civilian leaders great confidence.

“His commanding presence calmed the confused, and his courage and compassion helped carry the burden of loss and sacrifice,” Mr Carter said.

The soldiers of his 4th Infantry were involved in capturing the ousted President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, in December 2003. That success gave hope to put an end to a rising insurgency, but in 2004 the insurgency gained more momentum and led to the deadly rise of al Qaeda. Iraq.

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