George W. Casey Jr.

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George William Casey Jr.
George W. Casey 2007.jpg
George W. Casey Jr. in 2007
Born (1948-07-22) July 22, 1948 (age 73)
Sendai, Japan
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1970–2011
Commands heldChief of Staff of the United States Army
Multi-National Force – Iraq
Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army
1st Armored Division
Joint Warfighting Center
3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division
Battles/warsOperation Joint Endeavor
Iraq War
AwardsDefense Distinguished Service Medal (4)
Army Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Legion of Merit (3)
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal
RelationsGeorge W. Casey Sr.

George William Casey Jr. (born July 22, 1948) is a retired four-star general who served as the 36th Chief of Staff of the United States Army from April 10, 2007, to April 10, 2011. He served as Commanding General, Multi-National Force – Iraq from June 2004 to February 8, 2007, and was in the army for his entire adult working life. He now resides in Arlington, Virginia.

Early life and education[edit]

Casey was born in Sendai during the Allied occupation of Japan.[1] His father, George W. Casey Sr., was a West Point graduate who rose to the rank of major general and served in the Korean War and the Vietnam War. His father commanded the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam and was killed on July 7, 1970, when his command helicopter crashed in South Vietnam en route to a hospital to visit wounded American soldiers.

Casey, a military brat, grew up on army posts in the United States, Japan, and Germany and graduated from Boston College High School in Boston, Massachusetts. After high school, he applied to West Point, like his father, but was unsuccessful. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in international relations from Georgetown University in 1970 and later a Master of Arts degree in international relations from the University of Denver in 1980. Additionally, Casey worked for Vince Lombardi during one summer when the latter was coach of the Washington Redskins.[2]


Casey during a Singapore visit in 2009.
Casey in Tikrit, Iraq, in 2006.
Casey speaks with the press about Future Combat Systems and the Manned Ground Vehicle program in June 2008.
Acting Secretary of the Army Pete Geren swears in Casey as the 36th Army chief of staff at Fort Myer, Virginia, April 10, 2007.
Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates presents the Defense Distinguished Service Medal to Casey.

Casey was commissioned through the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps in 1970 following graduation from Georgetown University.

Casey served in the Mechanized Infantry during the command portion of his career. He was the commander of the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division, and the Assistant Division Commander – Maneuver (later Assistant Division Commander – Support) of the 1st Armored Division in Germany. He deployed as part of Operation Joint Endeavor to Bosnia-Herzegovina from July 1996 to August 1997. He and the Rear Command Post staff were based in Slavonski Brod, Croatia. Casey took command of the 1st Armored Division in July 1999.

After relinquishing command of the division in July 2001, Casey served in a senior staff position in the Pentagon as the Director of Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5), the Joint Staff from October 2001 to January 2003. His next position was Director of the Joint Staff in Washington, D.C. from January 2003 to October 2003. Following these assignments, Casey was nominated and confirmed as the 30th Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, serving in that post until June 2004.

Multi-National Force – Iraq[edit]

Casey served as the senior coalition commander in Iraq from June 2004 to February 2007. He replaced Lieutenant General Ricardo S. Sanchez.[3] Casey's goal was to encourage the Iraqis to take ownership of their problems and responsibility for their own security. For his part as a military commander, he focused on training Iraqi forces, limiting the role of American forces, and transferring the burden for providing security to Iraqi forces. Meanwhile, U.S. diplomats would focus on building and strengthening the Iraqi government and help the Iraqis hold elections. He expressed his view that a large and intrusive American presence in Iraq would not solve the political and security problems in that country and could even fuel the insurgency.

In 2005, Casey was hopeful that the December 2005 Iraqi elections could lead to a more unified and moderate Iraq which—in conjunction with the training of Iraqi security forces—could pave the way for U.S. troop reductions in early 2006.[4] In August 2005, Casey used specific troop numbers in his public discussion of a possible drawdown. He said the troop level of 138,000 could be reduced by 30,000 in the early months of 2006 as Iraqi security forces took on a greater role. President George W. Bush publicly called the talk "speculation" and rebuked the general. The bombing of the al-Askari Mosque, a sacred Shia religious site in Samarra, is believed to have stoked sectarian tensions and derailed coalition plans to speedily transfer significant security responsibility to the Iraqi government by the end of 2006.[5]

In January 2007, Casey implied his opposition to a troop surge:

... the longer we in the U.S. forces continue to bear the main burden of Iraq's security, it lengthens the time that the government of Iraq has to take the hard decisions about reconciliation and dealing with the militias. And the other thing is that they can continue to blame us for all of Iraq's difficulties, which are at base of their problems. It's always been my view that a heavy and sustained American military presence was not going to solve the problems in Iraq over the long term.[6]

Army Chief of Staff[edit]

In January 2007, President George W. Bush nominated Casey for elevation to Chief of Staff of the Army. Opposition to the nomination came from Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham who questioned Casey's leadership in Iraq, with McCain's criticisms focused on Casey's "optimistic and rosy scenarios" of progress in the Iraq War.[7][8] In spite of this, the Senate confirmed his nomination on February 8, 2007, with a bipartisan vote of 83–14.[9]

On February 10, 2007, Casey relinquished command in Iraq to General David Petraeus. Casey officially succeeded General Peter Schoomaker as Chief of Staff of the Army on April 10, 2007.

As the 36th Chief of Staff of the United States Army from April 2007 to 2011, Casey led what is arguably the world's largest and most complex organization—1.1 million people strong, with a $200+ billion annual budget—during one of the most extraordinary periods in military and global political history. He became Chief of Staff of an Army that was stretched from 6 years of continuous war. Over his tenure he stabilized and transformed the army to meet the challenges of the 21st century while continuing to meet the demands of two wars. Casey transformed an army trained and prepared for conventional war, to an agile force more suited to modern challenges.[citation needed]

Casey accelerated the growth of the army, instituted Retention Bonuses for young officers, increased the funding for soldier and family programs, improved the way the army cared for its wounded soldiers and surviving family members and drove down the stigma associated with behavioral health counseling to stabilize an army stretched by war. He also improved the leadership training for the army's General Officer Corps, advanced the transformation of the army's business and decision making processes, moved the army onto a rotational deployment program much like the Marine Corps' and oversaw a substantial improvement in the capabilities of the Army National Guard and Army Reserves.[citation needed]

In the immediate aftermath of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting committed by United States Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan, Casey expressed concern about jumping to conclusions before the investigation was completed, telling CNN's John King that "this increased speculation could cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers" and "As great a tragedy as this was, it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well."[10] Several months later, in a February 2010 interview, Casey said: "Our diversity not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that's worse."[11][12]


Casey retired on April 11, 2011.[13] Casey, whose parents were from Massachusetts, moved to Arlington, Virginia upon his retirement.[14] Casey is currently a Distinguished Senior Lecturer of Leadership at Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management[15] as well as a teaching fellow at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business.

Dates of rank[edit]

Rank Date
US Army O1 shoulderboard rotated.svg Second lieutenant October 21, 1970
US Army O2 shoulderboard rotated.svg First lieutenant October 21, 1971
US Army O3 shoulderboard rotated.svg Captain October 21, 1974
US Army O4 shoulderboard rotated.svg Major September 6, 1980
US Army O5 shoulderboard rotated.svg Lieutenant colonel August 1, 1985
US Army O6 shoulderboard rotated.svg Colonel May 1, 1991
US Army O7 shoulderboard rotated.svg Brigadier general July 1, 1996
US Army O8 shoulderboard rotated.svg Major general September 1, 1999
US Army O9 shoulderboard rotated.svg Lieutenant general October 31, 2001
US Army O10 shoulderboard rotated.svg General December 1, 2003


Awards and decorations[edit]

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with three bronze oak leaf clusters)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Distinguished Service Medal (with bronze oak leaf cluster)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit (with two bronze oak leaf clusters)
Defense Meritorious Service Medal ribbon.svg Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal ribbon.svg Meritorious Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Commendation Medal (with bronze oak leaf cluster)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Achievement Medal (with bronze oak leaf cluster)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Joint Meritorious Unit Award (with three bronze oak leaf clusters)
Army Superior Unit Award ribbon.svg Army Superior Unit Award
Bronze star
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal (with two bronze service stars)
Bronze star
Bronze star
Iraq Campaign Medal (with two bronze service stars)
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary ribbon.svg Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service ribbon.svg Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal ribbon.svg Armed Forces Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon.svg Army Service Ribbon
Award numeral 4.png Army Overseas Service Ribbon (with award numeral "4")
United Nations Medal ribbon.svg United Nations Medal
NATO Medal Yugoslavia ribbon bar.svg NATO Medal for Yugoslavia
POL Złoty Medal Wojska Polskiego BAR.svg Polish Army Medal in Gold (worn without golden ribbon bar device) – awarded by Polish Minister of National Defence Radosław Sikorski on November 8, 2005[19]
Legion Honneur Commandeur ribbon.svg Legion of Honor, Commander French[20]
Pingat Jasa Gemilang (Tentera) ribbon.png Pingat Jasa Gemilang (Tentera)awarded by Singapore Minister of Defense Teo Chee Hean on August 26, 2009[21]
JPN Kyokujitsu-sho 1Class BAR.svg Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising SunCasey was awarded the first class of the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun by Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa December 21, 2010[22]
Tong-il Security Medel Ribbon.svg Order of National Security Merit (South-Korea) Tong-il Medal
GER Bundeswehr Honour Cross Gold ribbon.svg Bundeswehr Gold Cross of Honor
CHL Cross of Victory.svg Condecoración Cruz de la Victoria (Chile)[23]
GA National Guard Commendation Medal.png Georgia Commendation Medal – State of Georgia, USA; Presented to BG Casey by LTC Frank Williams, 3ID ROC, Georgia Army National Guard – while in Slavonski Brod, Croatia, 1996
Expert Infantry Badge.svg Expert Infantryman Badge
Master Parachutist badge (United States).svg Master Parachutist Badge
Ranger Tab.svg Ranger Tab
Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
United States Army Staff Identification Badge.png Army Staff Identification Badge
Multi-National Force-Iraq ShoulderSIeeveInsignia.jpg MNF-I Combat Service Identification Badge
10th INF DUI.png 10th Infantry Regiment Distinctive Unit Insignia
ArmyOSB.svg 5 Overseas Service Bars
BW Sonderabzeichen Fallschirmspringer.png German Parachutist Badge in bronze
Brevet Parachutiste.jpg Basic French Parachutist Badge (French: Brevet de Parachutisme militaire)[24]


  1. ^ Tom Bowman (Winter 2009–2010). "America's Broken Army" (PDF). The Bugle Buster. United States Army. Retrieved July 26, 2011.[dead link]
  2. ^ "Managing the Army". Georgetown University. Archived from the original on July 26, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-17.
  3. ^ Schmitt, Eric (July 5, 2004). "The Reach of War: Man in the News – George William Casey Jr.; A Low-Key Commander With 4 Stars to Tame the Iraqi Furies". New York Times. Retrieved October 5, 2008.
  4. ^ Peter Eisler, Blake Morrison and Tom Vanden Brook (July 16, 2007). "Pentagon balked at pleas from officers in field for safer vehicles- Iraqi troops got MRAPs; Americans waited". USA Today.
  5. ^ Sherwell, Philip (August 14, 2005). "Bush slaps down top general after he calls for troops to be pulled out of Iraq". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Archived from the original on November 13, 2005. Retrieved January 30, 2010.
  6. ^ Sanger, David E.; Gordon, Michael R.; John F. Burns (January 2, 2007). "Chaos Overran Iraq Plan in '06, Bush Team Says". The New York Times.
  7. ^ Cloud, John S. (February 2, 2007). "General Parries Senate Attacks on Iraqi Record". The New York Times. Retrieved August 20, 2021.
  8. ^ Smith, Donna (January 22, 2007). "McCain casts doubt on Gen. Casey as U.S. Army head". Reuters.
  9. ^ Tate, Deborah (February 8, 2007). "US Senate Confirms Casey as Army Chief of Staff". VOA News. Archived from the original on September 12, 2009. Retrieved November 8, 2009.
  10. ^ "Casey: I'm 'concerned' about backlash against Muslim soldiers". CNN. November 8, 2009. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  11. ^ "'Meet the Press' transcript for Nov. 8, 2009". NBC News. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  12. ^ "General George W. Casey Jr. ceremony remarks as delivered by Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates". Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  13. ^ Casey Jr., George W. "General George W. Casey Jr. Remarks as Delivered Monday, April 11, 2011". United States Army. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  14. ^ "From leading the US Army to leading off the Pan-Mass Challenge". The Boston Globe.
  15. ^ "Johnson at Cornell > Faculty And Research > Profile". Cornell University.
  16. ^ Bell, William Gardner (January 1, 2013). Commanding Generals and Chiefs of Staff, 1775-2013: Portraits & Biographical Sketches of the United States Army's Senior Officer. Washington, D.C., United States: Center of Military History, United States Army. ISBN 978-0-16-072376--6.
  17. ^ "Military Connection - Gen. George Casey's Biography".
  18. ^ "Nominations Before The Senate Armed Services Committee, Second Session, 108th Congress" (PDF). GovInfo. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. 2005. p. 173. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  19. ^ (in Polish) Note from National Defence Minister to Marshal of the Sejm about gen. Casey decoration.
  20. ^ "Gen. Casey awarded Legion of Honor". U.S. Army. February 8, 2008. Archived from the original on February 12, 2008.
  21. ^ "US Army Chief of Staff Visits Singapore". Singapore Ministry of Defence. August 26, 2009. Archived from the original on April 14, 2015.
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 16, 2011. Retrieved 2010-12-27.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ "Jefe de Estado Mayor de Ejercito EE.UU. visita Chile". emol.Nacional (in Spanish). April 27, 2008. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  24. ^ "Gen. Casey wearing French parachutist badge". U.S. Army. February 8, 2008.


Further reading[edit]

  • Cloud, David; Greg Jaffe (2009). The Fourth Star: Four Generals and the Epic Struggle for the Future of the United States Army. Random House.

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army
Succeeded by
Preceded by Commander Multinational Force Iraq
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chief of Staff of the United States Army
Succeeded by
Order of precedence
Preceded by United States order of precedence
as of 2010
Succeeded by