Jack Keane

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Jack Keane
General Jack Keane in 1999
Born (1943-02-01) February 1, 1943 (age 80)
New York City, U.S.
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1966–2003
Rank General
Commands heldXVIII Airborne Corps
101st Airborne Division
1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division
Battles/warsVietnam War, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia and Kosovo
AwardsPresidential Medal of Freedom
Defense Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Army Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Silver Star
Legion of Merit (5)
Bronze Star
Alma materFordham University (BS)
Western Kentucky University (MA)

John M. "Jack" Keane (born February 1, 1943) is a former United States Army general who served as Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 1999 to 2003. A recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he is a national security analyst, primarily on Fox News, and serves as chairman of the Institute for the Study of War and as chairman of AM General.

Early life and education[edit]

Keane was born in Manhattan, New York,[1][2] the son of Elizabeth (Davis) and John Keane. He has a brother, Ronald.

Keane attended Bishop Dubois High School and Fordham University, where he participated in the Pershing Rifles. He graduated with a B.S. degree in accounting in 1966. He then attended Western Kentucky University and graduated with an M.A. degree in philosophy. He later graduated from the US Army Command and General Staff College and the US Army War College.[3][4]

Military career[edit]

Keane watches as President George W. Bush signs a defense appropriations bill in 2002

Keane served in the Vietnam War as a Ranger paratrooper, leading in combat as a platoon leader and company commander. He earned the Combat Infantry Badge and the Master Parachutist Badge.[5] He later served in U.S. engagements in Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo. His commands include the 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, 101st Airborne Division, and the XVIII Airborne Corps.[3]

In 1991 Keane saved the life of David Petraeus during a live-fire exercise. According to Keane, Petraeus was shot "accidentally, standing right next to me, and I had to fight to save his life. He had a hole about the size of a quarter in his back and is gushing with blood, and we stopped the bleeding and got him on a helicopter and got him to a surgeon and so we were sort of bonded ever since that time."[6]

Keane retired from military service in 2003.

Later career[edit]

Keane (left) meeting with an army colonel in 2010
Keane receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from US President Donald Trump in 2020

After his retirement, he has served as an informal advisor to presidents and other senior officials. He served an advisory role in the management of the US occupation of Iraq, as a member of the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee. In January 2007, Keane and the scholar Frederick W. Kagan released a policy paper, "Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq,"[7] through the American Enterprise Institute that called for bringing security by putting 30,000 additional American troops there for at least 18 months. In part convinced by this paper, President George W. Bush ordered on January 10, 2007, the deployment of 21,500 additional troops to Iraq, most of whom would be deployed to Baghdad. The deployment has been nicknamed the 2007 "surge."[8][9]

Of his initial meeting with President Bush regarding the surge, Keane said that he made a phone call to Newt Gingrich to ask his advice prior to the meeting. As Keane said in 2014,

Gingrich gave me some good advice. He said, "Look, Jack. Most people go in the Oval Office, even people who go in there a lot, have a tendency in front of the President of the United States to always leave something on the table." He said, "Don't leave anything on the table." He said, "You're going to get about 15 minutes at best and put it all out there. And when you walk out of that room, feel good that you got it all out there." So that was sound advice, and I did put it all out there.[6]

Keane was asked by Vice President Cheney to go back on active duty and to lead the surge in the field. When Keane declined, Cheney pressed him to come work in the White House and oversee both the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; Keane again declined. Keane ended up briefly working at the White House and then later traveled to Iraq several times to advise General Petraeus.[10]

Current activities[edit]

Keane is a regular contributor to Fox News and is involved in a variety of business, think tank and charitable activities. He serves as chairman of AM General, the firm that produces the Humvee.[11][12] In June 2016, Keane co-founded IP3 International (IP3), a nuclear energy consulting firm.

Keane is an advisor to the Spirit of America, a 501(c)(3) organization.[13] He formerly served as a strategic advisor for Academi and is a former director of defense giant General Dynamics.

In November 2016, shortly after Stanley A. McChrystal declined the post of Secretary of Defense, Keane was offered an appointment to the post, but he declined, citing the death of his wife several months earlier. After Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resigned in December 2018, Trump again offered the job to Keane, who again declined.[14][15][16]

Keane is considered an influential voice to leaders from both major political parties, including Donald Trump, particularly on foreign policy issues related to the Middle East.[17]


Keane is a cofounder and director of IP3 International.[18] According to a staff report to the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, during the 2016 US presidential campaign of Donald Trump and subsequently, Trump aides such as Jared Kushner and others have been engaged in promoting IP3's plan to transfer nuclear technology from the US to Saudi Arabia. According to the report, IP3 founders and others have been seeking to broker a deal with Riyadh without the "gold standard," a provision—tied to Section 123 of the 1954 Atomic Energy Act, which establishes conditions for nuclear cooperation between the US and its allies, that seeks to limit weaponizing of nuclear energy.[19][20] In July 2019, the committee chairman released a second staff report that detailed various activities and contacts between IP3 and the Trump administration.[19][21] A letter to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) that was signed by General Keane and executives of IP3, boasted, “The agreements by President Trump and Mohammed bin Salman have established the framework for our unique opportunity to take the next steps with IP3 and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."[22]

Personal life[edit]

Keane married his first wife, Theresa Doyle, in 1965, and has two sons.[3] She died in 2016 after having Parkinson's disease for 14 years.[23] He is married to Angela McGlowan.[24][25]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Military awards that Keane has received include two Defense Distinguished Service Medals, two Army Distinguished Service Medals, the Silver Star, five Legion of Merits, the Bronze Star Medal, three Meritorious Service Medals, one Army Commendation Medal, the Joint Chiefs Service Badge, the Humanitarian Service Medal,[3] Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge, and the Air Assault Badge.

President Donald Trump awarded Keane the Presidential Medal of Freedom on March 10, 2020.[26]

Keane's civilian awards include the Fordham University Distinguished Alumni Award, the USO 2002 Man of the Year award, and the Association of the United States Army 2001 Man of the Year award. Keane was furthermore awarded an honorary Ph.D. degree in Law from Fordham University and an honorary Ph.D. degree in Public Service from Eastern Kentucky University.[4]

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Defense Distinguished Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Distinguished Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster
Silver Star
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit with four Oak Leaf Clusters
Bronze Star Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medals with two Oak Leaf Clusters
Army Commendation Medal
Presidential Medal of Freedom
Bronze star
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal with two Service Stars
Bronze star
Bronze star
Vietnam Service Medal with two Service Stars
Humanitarian Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Army Overseas Service Ribbon
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Valorous Unit Award
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
Combat Infantryman Badge
Master Parachutist Badge
Air Assault Badge
Ranger Tab
Joint Chiefs Service Badge
United States Army Staff Identification Badge
502nd Infantry Regimental Affiliation


  1. ^ Matthew Kaminski, Wall Street Journal, "Why the Surge Worked", September 20, 2008
  2. ^ "Defense.gov News Release: GENERAL OFFICER ANNOUNCEMENT". www.defense.gov. January 24, 1996. Archived from the original on March 2, 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  3. ^ a b c d "General Jack Keane (bio)". Principles of War Seminar Series. Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Archived from the original on March 4, 2007. Retrieved January 22, 2007.
  4. ^ a b NDS%20John%20Keane.pdf?ver=2018-04-04-114258-970 Commission on the National Defense Strategy for the United States: General John M. “Jack” Keane, USA, Retired - website of the United States Department of Defense
  5. ^ Fred Kaplan, The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War, Simon & Schuster, 2013, p. 225.
  6. ^ a b Keane, Jack (July 29, 2014). "Jack Keane". Conversations with Bill Kristol (Interview). Interviewed by Bill Kristol. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  7. ^ Kagan, Frederick W. (January 5, 2007). "Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq: Phase I Report". American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Archived from the original on January 17, 2007. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  8. ^ Kerley, David (January 9, 2007). "The Architect of Bush's New Iraq Strategy". ABC News. Archived from the original on August 25, 2007. Retrieved January 16, 2007.
  9. ^ Hastings, Hirsh, and Wolffe (January 8, 2007). "'Surge' Strategy". Newsweek National News. MSNBC. p. 2. Archived from the original on January 14, 2007. Retrieved January 16, 2007.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ Keane, Jack (July 29, 2014). "GEN. JACK KEANE TRANSCRIPT". Conversations with Bill Kristol (Interview). Interviewed by Bill Kristol. The Foundation for Constitutional Government. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  11. ^ Bender, Bryan (December 26, 2010). "From the Pentagon to the private sector: In large numbers, and with few rules, retiring generals are taking lucrative defense-firm jobs". The Boston Globe.
  12. ^ "AM General Announces General (Ret.) Jack Keane Has Joined the Company as Executive Chairman". AM General. October 26, 2016.
  13. ^ "General Jack Keane". Spirit of America. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  14. ^ Bergen, Peter. (2019). Trump and his generals: the cost of chaos. New York: Penguin Press. ISBN 978-0-525-52241-6. p. 49, p. 251
  15. ^ Ret. Army Gen. Jack Keane Says He Declined Offer To Be Defense Secretary, NPR (November 20, 2016).
  16. ^ Johnson, Eliana; Lippman, Daniel (January 7, 2019). "Trump struggles to replace Mattis as Pentagon chief". Politico.
  17. ^ Johnson, Eliana (July 2, 2019). "The Fox News general who 'spooked' Trump out of attacking Iran: President Donald Trump may have tired of the men he once called 'my generals,' but one retired military leader still has his ear on key foreign policy matters". Politico.
  18. ^ "Our Team". IP3 Int'l. Archived from the original on February 19, 2019. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  19. ^ a b "Corporate and Foreign Interests Behind White House Push to Transfer U.S. Nuclear Technology to Saudi Arabia Prepared for Chairman Elijah E. Cummings Second Interim Staff Report Committee on Oversight and Reform U.S. House of Representatives July 2019" (PDF). oversight.house.gov. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 1, 2019. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  20. ^ "The U.S. Atomic Energy Act Section 123 At a Glance". Arms Control Association.
  21. ^ "Appendix A – Documents" (PDF). oversight.house.gov. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 11, 2019. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  22. ^ "House report lays bare White House feud over Saudi nuclear push". Politico. February 19, 2019.
  23. ^ Brown, Stephen Rex (November 20, 2016). "Retired four-star Army Gen. Jack Keane says he turned down Trump's offer to be secretary of defense". Daily News.
  24. ^ @angelamcglowan (March 11, 2020). "I felt so blessed and humbled to witness my husband General Jack Keane recieve [sic] The Presidential Medal Of Freedom.…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  25. ^ https://www.armed-services.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/20-03_02-11-2000.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  26. ^ "Remarks by President Trump at the Presentation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to General Jack Keane". whitehouse.gov. Retrieved March 12, 2020 – via National Archives. It was the first senior military official to visit troops in the field.

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army
Succeeded by