George W. Casey Jr.
|George William Casey Jr.|
Casey in April 2007
July 22, 1948|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/||United States Army|
|Years of service||1970–2011|
Army Chief of Staff|
Multi-National Force – Iraq
U.S. Army Vice Chief of Staff
1st Armored Division
Joint Warfighting Center
3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division
Operation Joint Endeavor (Bosnia)|
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Defense Distinguished Service Medal (4)|
Army Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Legion of Merit (3)
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
George William Casey Jr. (born July 22, 1948) is a retired four-star general who served as the 36th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army from April 10, 2007, to April 10, 2011. Casey 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 Boston.
Early life and education
Casey was born in Boston. His father, George W. Casey Sr., was a West Point graduate who rose to the rank of Major General and served in two wars (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 U.S. soldiers.
Casey, a military brat, grew up on Army posts in the U.S., Japan, and Germany and graduated from Boston College High School in Dorchester, 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.
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
Casey served as the senior coalition commander in Iraq from June 2004 to February 2007. He replaced Lieutenant General Ricardo S. Sanchez. 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. 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 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.
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."
Army Chief of Staff
As the 36th Chief of Staff of the U.S. 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.
He 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.
In the immediate aftermath of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting committed by U.S. Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik 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." 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."
Casey retired on April 11, 2011. Casey, whose parents were from Massachusetts, moved to Scituate upon his retirement. Casey is currently a Distinguished Senior Lecturer of Leadership at Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management.
Casey is married to his college sweetheart Sheila and they have two sons and five grandchildren. Sheila Casey is the Chief Operating Officer of The Hill. The couple made a special appearance as themselves in the 100th episode of the television series Army Wives.
Awards and decorations
- Tom Bowman (Winter 2009–2010). "America's Broken Army" (PDF). The Bugle Buster. United States Army. Retrieved July 26, 2011.[dead link]
- "Managing the Army". Georgetown University. Archived from the original on July 26, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-17.
- 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 2008-10-05.
- 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.
- 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.
- Sanger, David E.; Gordon, Michael R.; John F. Burns (January 2, 2007). "Chaos Overran Iraq Plan in '06, Bush Team Says". New York Times.
- 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.[dead link]
- "Casey: I'm 'concerned' about backlash against Muslim soldiers". CNN. 8 November 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- "'Meet the Press' transcript for Nov. 8, 2009". Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- "General George W. Casey Jr. ceremony remarks as delivered by Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates". Retrieved 11 April 2011.
- Casey Jr., George W. "General George W. Casey Jr. Retirement Remarks as Delivered Monday, April 11, 2011". www.army.mil. United States Army. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
- "Johnson at Cornell > Faculty And Research > Profile". www.johnson.cornell.edu. Cornell University.
- Getlen, Larry (March 1, 2005). "Our Man in Iraq". University of Denver Magazine. University of Denver.
- "Who We Are". The Hill.
- (in Polish) Note from National Defence Minister to Marshal of the Sejm about gen. Casey decoration.
- "Gen. Casey awarded Legion of Honor". U.S. Army. February 8, 2008. Archived from the original on February 12, 2008.
- "US Army Chief of Staff Visits Singapore". Singapore Ministry of Defence. August 26, 2009. Archived from the original on April 14, 2015.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 16, 2011. Retrieved 2010-12-27.
- "Gen. Casey wearing french parachutist badge". U.S. Army. February 8, 2008.
- "Biography: General George W. Casey Jr. – Chief of Staff of the United States Army". Leaders: Army Chief of Staff. United States Army. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 4, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-05.
- Cloud, David; Greg Jaffe (2009). The Fourth Star: Four Generals and the Epic Struggle for the Future of the United States Army. Random House.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to George W. Casey, Jr..|
- Profile at SourceWatch
- New Job in Iraq Will Be as Top U.S. Military Leader, June 25, 2004
- CNN, Friday, January 5: Gates shakes up command in Iraq, January 5, 2007
- Press Briefing by Tony Snow (Jan 5, 2007) concerning change of commanders in Iraq, January 5, 2007
- Casey tells Congress Army is stretched too thin, September 27, 2007
- Army chief fears backlash for Muslim U.S. soldiers – Adds "And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that's worse", November 8, 2009
| Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army
Gen. Richard A. Cody
Ricardo S. Sanchez
| Commander Multinational Force Iraq
David H. Petraeus
Peter J. Schoomaker
| Chief of Staff of the United States Army
Martin E. Dempsey
|Order of precedence|
| United States order of precedence
as of 2010[update]