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Ben Hodges

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Frederick B. (Ben) Hodges
Frederick B. Hodges (3).jpg
Lieutenant General Ben Hodges in 2016
Born (1958-04-16) April 16, 1958 (age 63)
Jacksonville, Florida, United States
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1980–2018
RankLieutenant General
Commands heldUnited States Army Europe
Allied Land Command
Pakistan Afghanistan Coordination Cell
1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division
Battles/warsIraq War
War in Afghanistan
AwardsDefense Distinguished Service Medal
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit (3)

Lieutenant General Frederick Benjamin "Ben" Hodges III[1] (born 16 April 1958) is a retired United States Army officer who served as commanding general, United States Army Europe. He is currently the Pershing Chair in Strategic Studies at the Center for European Policy Analysis.[2]

A 1980 United States Military Academy graduate, Hodges became an infantry officer, serving as a platoon leader and company executive officer in the 2nd Armored Division (Forward) in Germany. After completing the Infantry Officer Advanced Course in 1984, he served with the 101st Airborne Division. In March 1989 Hodges became an instructor at the United States Army Infantry School. He studied at the Command and General Staff College and graduated from the School of Advanced Military Studies in 1993, becoming G-3 (Chief of Plans) of the 2nd Infantry Division in South Korea.

Hodges served as a battalion executive officer with the 101st Airborne before becoming Aide-de-camp to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe in August 1995. He became a battalion commander in the 101st Airborne in 1997. He was Congressional Liaison Officer at the Office of the Chief of Legislative Liaison between 1999 and 2000. After graduating from the National War College in 2001, Hodges served at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk. Taking command of the 1st Brigade of the 101st Airborne in 2002, Hodges led the brigade in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In 2004, Hodges became G-3 of the XVIII Airborne Corps and later simultaneously served as CJ3 of Multi-National Corps – Iraq. He became chief of staff of the XVIII Airborne Corps and was deputy chief of Legislative Liaison at the Office of the Secretary of the Army from 2007. In August 2009, Hodges became director of operations of Regional Command South in Afghanistan. In December 2010 he became director of the Pakistan Afghanistan Coordination Cell at the Joint Staff and in November 2012 took command of Allied Land Command. Hodges became commander of United States Army Europe in November 2014, holding that position for three years until retiring from the United States Army in January 2018.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Hodges was born on 16 April 1958[3] in Jacksonville, Florida, the son of army veteran and life insurance agent Frederick Benjamin Hodges Jr. and Nell Davis Hodges.[4][5] He graduated from James A. Shanks High School in Quincy, Florida, in 1976.[6] Hodges entered the United States Military Academy, graduating in May 1980 with a commission in the Infantry.[7] In February 1981, he became a platoon leader in A Company of the 3d Battalion, 41st Infantry (Mechanized), 2nd Armored Division, stationed in Germany. On 28 November, he was promoted to first lieutenant. Hodges later became an executive officer in the company, serving there until March 1984. He was promoted to captain on 1 February. He took the Infantry Officer Advanced Course at the United States Army Infantry School, completing it in September.[8]

In December 1984, Hodges became assistant S4 of the 101st Airborne Division's 1st Brigade. He later became brigade assistant S-3. In May 1986, he took command of C Company of the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry of the division. He later became S-3 of the battalion. Between July 1988 and March 1989 Hodges served as assistant S-3 of the division's 1st Brigade. In March, he became a small group instructor at the United States Army Infantry School. He was later Chief of the Tactics Team there. In August 1991, he became a student at the Command and General Staff College, being promoted to major on 1 September. Hodges later graduated from the School of Advanced Military Studies. In June 1993, he became chief of the Plans Division and G-3 of the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea.[8]

In July 1994, Hodges became executive officer of the 327th Infantry's 3d Battalion. He became Aide-de-camp to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe in August 1995, serving there until June 1997. On 1 July 1996 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel. In June 1997, Hodges took command of the 3d Battalion of the 187th Infantry with the 101st Airborne. He was Congressional Liaison Officer at the Office of the Chief of Legislative Liaison between July 1999 and July 2000. In August of that year he entered the National War College, graduating in June 2001. In July Hodges became Senior Battalion Observer and Controller of the Operations Group at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk. On 1 March 2002 he was promoted to colonel.[8]

Iraq, Afghanistan, and United States Army Europe[edit]

In June 2002, Hodges took command of the 101st Airborne's 1st Brigade, leading it in Operation Iraqi Freedom. On 23 March 2003, before the start of the operation, Sergeant Hassan Akbar attacked other soldiers of the brigade, killing two and injuring fourteen. Hodges suffered a minor shrapnel wound in the attack and testified at Akbar's court-martial in April 2005.[9] The brigade fought in the Battle of Najaf in late March and early April.[10][11] In August 2004, Hodges became assistant chief of staff and G-3 of the XVIII Airborne Corps. Between January 2005 and January 2006 he simultaneously served as assistant chief of staff and CJ3 of Multi-National Corps – Iraq. In July, Hodges became chief of staff of the XVIII Airborne Corps. In August 2007, he became deputy chief of Legislative Liaison at the Office of the Secretary of the Army. On 14 May 2008, he was promoted to brigadier general. In August 2009, Hodges became director of operations of Regional Command South[7] in Afghanistan. In December 2010 he became director of the Pakistan Afghanistan Coordination Cell at the Joint Staff. Hodges was promoted to major general on 2 February 2011.[8] On 22 September 2012 he was promoted to lieutenant general.[12] On 30 November 2012, Hodges became the first commander of Allied Land Command.[13] Hodges replaced Lieutenant General Donald M. Campbell Jr. in command of United States Army Europe on 5 November 2014.[14][15] He retired from the army and relinquished command of USAREUR on 15 December 2017.[16]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Hodges is a recipient of the following awards and decorations:[8]

Combat Infantry Badge.svg Combat Infantryman Badge
Ranger Tab.svg Ranger tab
United States Air Force Parachutist Badge.svg Basic Parachutist Badge
AirAssault.svg Air Assault Badge
USAREUR Insignia.svg United States Army Europe Badge
Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
United States Army Staff Identification Badge.png Army Staff Identification Badge
US 101st Airborne Division patch.svg 101st Airborne Division Combat Service Identification Badge
327InfRegtDUI.jpg 327th Infantry Regiment Distinguished Member of the Regiment[17]
ArmyOSB.svg 6 Overseas Service Bars
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Army Distinguished Service Medal[18]
Defense Superior Service Medal
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Legion of Merit with two bronze oak leaf clusters
Width-44 scarlet ribbon with width-4 ultramarine blue stripe at center, surrounded by width-1 white stripes. Width-1 white stripes are at the edges.Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg"V" device, brass.svg Bronze Star Medal with "V" device and three oak leaf clusters
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Silver oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Meritorious Service Medal with one silver and one bronze oak leaf clusters
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Army Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Meritorious Unit Commendation
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star
Iraq Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korea Defense Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Army Overseas Service Ribbon
GER Bundeswehr Honour Cross Gold ribbon.svg Badge of Honour of the Bundeswehr in gold (Germany)
CZE Rad Bileho Lva 3 tridy BAR.svg Order of the White Lion, Commander (Czech Republic)
Noribbon.svg Unidentified Czech decoration
GEO Golden Fleece Order BAR.svg Order of the Golden Fleece (Georgia)[19]
POL Order Zaslugi RP kl2 BAR.svg Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland[20]

Later life[edit]

Hodges retired to Florida and began work for the think tank Center for European Policy Analysis,[16] becoming the latter's Pershing Chair in Strategic Studies.[21] At CEPA, Hodges has advocated for a stronger NATO. On defense expenditures, Hodges has said, “We need a more sophisticated approach to the spending guideline. The 2-percent number gets tossed around like dues in a club, which is unhelpful... I think the Alliance should take a hard look at the 2-percent calculus to redefine it.”[22] He has argued for including dual-use infrastructure in the 2-percent, a "win-win" that would address "the most urgent problem in European security" in military mobility, while also offering benefits to civilian life.[23] On Iran, Hodges said, "I was disappointed that we were leaving the agreement with Iran. Not because it's a good deal, but because cooperation with our allies is very important... It worries me when we show contempt for such important allies as Great Britain, Germany or France. The cohesion of our nations was our strength and advantage. Considering all the factors, one must remember that one must not stand against the allies."[24] He has also advocated for placing greater priority on the Black Sea Region.[25][26]

His comments on NATO and European security have appeared in several international media outlets, including an interview on LNK Info TV in Lithuania[27] and Anne Will,[28] and articles in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in Germany.[23] In a BBC interview, Hodges stated that Brexit could threaten the NATO alliance.[29] He coauthored a book with General John R. Allen and Julian Lindley-French, Future War and the Defence of Europe, in 2021.[30]

He endorsed Joe Biden in the 2020 U.S. presidential election in an op-ed with Ambassador Robert A. Mandell and Lieutenant General Donald M. Campbell Jr.[31] He has spoken about the 1st South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Colored).[32] As of 2018, he is an Advisory Board Member of Spirit of America, a 501(c)(3) organization.[33]

Personal life[edit]

Hodges has two adult children.[6][34][35] He also speaks German.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Register of Graduates and Former Cadets of the United States Military Academy 2007. West Point, New York: West Point Association of Graduates. 2007. p. 541.
  2. ^ a b "Ben Hodges". CEPA. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  3. ^ Register of Graduates and Former Cadets, United States Military Academy. West Point, New York: West Point Association of Graduates. 1989.
  4. ^ "Frederick Hodges Jr". Tallahassee Democrat. 16 December 2015. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  5. ^ Metcalf, Clayton G. (1975). The Gillis family in the South. Enterprise, Alabama: Metcalf. p. 377. OCLC 1959807.
  6. ^ a b Eubanks, Teresa (19 February 2016). "Army General visits his Quincy hometown, visits restored arsenal". Calhoun-Liberty Journal. Archived from the original on 21 October 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Commanding General Fact Sheet" (PDF). Headquarters, US Army Europe. 27 September 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-10-20. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  8. ^ a b c d e f "Major General Frederick B. Hodges" (PDF). Foreign Area Officer Association. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  9. ^ "Colonel says assignment was hampered". Associated Press. 26 April 2005. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  10. ^ Komorow, Steven; Zoroya, Greg (1 April 2003). "Strategic Najaf 'very much contained'". USA Today. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  11. ^ Atkinson, Rick (2007). In the Company of Soldiers: A Chronicle of Combat. New York: Henry Holt. pp. 127–137, 260. ISBN 9781429900010.
  12. ^ "PN1887 – Nomination of Maj. Gen. Frederick B. Hodges for Army, 112th Congress (2011–2012)". www.congress.gov. 2012-09-22. Retrieved 2016-10-21.
  13. ^ "Allied Land Command – History". www.lc.nato.int. Retrieved 2016-10-21.
  14. ^ "New commander takes over at U.S. Army Europe". Army Times. 5 November 2014.
  15. ^ Cole, Daniel (5 November 2014). "U.S. Army Europe welcomes new commander in Wiesbaden ceremony". U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  16. ^ a b Stoutamire, Dan (15 December 2017). "USAREUR's Hodges retires after 3 busy years at the helm". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  17. ^ "327th Infantry Regiment MOH, DMORs, HMORs". 327th Infantry Veterans. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  18. ^ "Lt. Gen. Frederick 'Ben' Hodges Retirement Ceremony". DVIDS. Retrieved Aug 11, 2020.
  19. ^ "Giorgi Margvelashvili Awarded Lieutenant General Frederick Hodges with Golden Fleece Order". Administration of the President of Georgia. 23 May 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  20. ^ "US Army commander in Europe honored on Poland's army day". Army Times. 17 August 2017. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  21. ^ "Lieutenant General Frederick Benjamin "Ben" Hodges to Join CEPA". Center for European Policy Analysis. 28 June 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-07-01. Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  22. ^ "Waiting for Europe's Budgetary Chickens to Roost—or Roast—At NATO". May 10, 2018. Retrieved Aug 11, 2020.
  23. ^ a b Hodges, Ben; Braw, Elisabeth. "Neue Verteidigungsausgaben: Deutschland sollte Autobahnen bauen". Retrieved Aug 11, 2020 – via www.faz.net.
  24. ^ "Generał Hodges dla TVN24 BiS: byłem rozczarowany wycofaniem się z porozumienia z Iranem". TVN24.pl. Retrieved Aug 11, 2020.
  25. ^ "One Flank, One Threat, One Presence". Center for European Policy Analysis. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  26. ^ "The Black Sea … or a Black Hole?". Center for European Policy Analysis. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  27. ^ "Lnk.lt". lnk.lt. Retrieved Aug 11, 2020.
  28. ^ "Erdoğans Siegeszug – schaut Europa weiter hilflos zu?". Anne Will. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  29. ^ Hope, Christopher (15 March 2016). "Brexit could threaten the Nato alliance, says top US general". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  30. ^ "Future War and the Defence of Europe". Oxford University Press. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  31. ^ "Two retired generals, retired ambassador, all with Florida ties: Trump is unfit to lead". Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  32. ^ "The Union's 1st Black Regiment & the U.S. Army's Linkage to the Emancipation Proclamation". Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  33. ^ https://spiritofamerica.org/staff/lt-gen-ben-hodges
  34. ^ "Biography: Lieutenant General Frederick Ben Hodges, US Army: Commander, Allied Land Command" (PDF). Headquarters Allied Land Command. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  35. ^ "LTG (Ret.) Frederick Benjamin "Ben" Hodges III" (PDF). Center for European Policy Analysis. 1 June 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2018.

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document: "http://www.eur.army.mil/leaders/".