David M. Rodriguez

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David M. Rodriguez
General David M Rodriguez USAFRICOM.jpg
Rodriguez in April 2013
Nickname(s) "Rod"
Born (1954-10-23) 23 October 1954 (age 60)
Overbrook, Pennsylvania, U.S
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1976–present
Rank Army-USA-OF-09.svg General
Commands held U.S. Africa Command
U.S. Army Forces Command
82nd Airborne Division
International Security Assistance Force Joint Command
U.S. Forces – Afghanistan
Battles/wars Invasion of Panama
Persian Gulf War
Iraq War
War in Afghanistan
Mali War (2013)
Awards Defense Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Army Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit (5)
Bronze Star Medal (2)

David M. "Rod" Rodriguez (born 23 May 1954) is a United States Army officer who currently serves as the Commander of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM).

Previously, Rodriguez served as the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Forces Command from 12 September 2011 until 15 March 2013. He has also served as Commander, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command (IJC) and Deputy Commander, U.S. Forces – Afghanistan (USFOR-A) from 12 November 2009 to 11 July 2011.[1] Approved by the U.S. Senate on 5 March 2013, to take over AFRICOM from General Carter F. Ham, Rodriguez assumed command on 5 April 2013.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Overbrook, Pennsylvania in 1954[3] and raised in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Rodriguez earned his commission from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York in 1976.[4] He was recruited by Tom Cahill to play for the Army Black Knights football team and earned varsity letters in football and baseball.[5]


Rodriguez has commanded at every level across the United States Army. His previous assignment was as the Commanding General of the United States Army Forces Command. Additionally, Rodriguez commanded the International Security Assistance Force – Joint Command (IJC) in Afghanistan; the 82nd Airborne Division; 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division; and 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). He also commanded companies of the 75th Ranger Regiment, and 1st Armored Division.[4]

Rodriguez’s extensive combat experiences include: G-3 Planner, XVIII Airborne Corps, Operation Just Cause, 1989 – 1990; Operations Officer, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Desert Shield/Desert Storm, 1990 – 1991; Assistant Division Commander, 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized), 2002 – 2003; Commander, Multi-National Division-Northwest, 2005; Special Assistant to the Commander, Multi-National Corps-Iraq, 2006; Commander, Joint Task Force-82 in Afghanistan, 2007 – 2008; and Deputy Commander, United States Forces Afghanistan and Commander, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command.[4]

Rodriguez holds a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College and a Masters of Military Art and Science from the United States Army Command and General Staff College.[4]

On 11 November 2011, Rodriguez received the Abraham Lincoln Award during a Veterans Day celebration at The Union League of Philadelphia. Union Leagues were founded during the Civil War to support President Abraham Lincoln and the preservation of the Union; Philadelphia's, established in 1862, was the first. First presented to Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, the award, which recognizes patriotism and service to country, has been bestowed on many distinguished civilian and military leaders, including former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan; U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Gen. David H. Petraeus and current Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, Gen. Raymond T. Odierno.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Rodriguez is married and has four children, one of whom is William V. Campbell Trophy winner Andrew Rodriguez.[5]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Rodriguez' military decorations include:[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Lt. Gen. Rodriguez: What is the ISAF Joint Command". nato.int
  2. ^ "Rodriguez Succeeds Ham as Africom Commander". Defense.gov. 12 March 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "General David M. Rodriguez, Commander". United States Africa Command. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "MISSION FIRST: Sense Of Duty". goarmysports.com. 19 December 2013. 
  6. ^ Jim Hinnant, FORSCOM Public Affairs Officer (11 November 2011). "Rodriguez receives historic award, celebrates veterans in return to home area". U.S Army. Retrieved 31 December 2012.