Major General Paul D. Eaton is a retired United States Army General most known for his command of operations to train Iraqi troops during Operation Iraqi Freedom. General Eaton served in that capacity between 2003 and 2004, until he returned to the US to become Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Training, United States Army Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Monroe, Virginia. He currently serves as Senior Adviser to the National Security Network, a progressive Washington, DC think tank that focuses on foreign policy and defense issues.
Paul Eaton was raised in Oklahoma. His father, Col. Norman Dale Eaton, USAF, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1949 and went on to become an Air Force pilot. He was shot down over Laos in December 1969 and was listed as missing in action for many years. His remains were recovered in 2004, identified, and buried at Arlington National Cemetery in early 2007.
Paul Eaton's wife, P.J., is a daughter of a United States Marine Corps Colonel and a former Army captain. She is now a licensed mental health counselor who primarily works with perpetrators of domestic violence. They were married in 1973. His eldest son is a University of Washington graduate. His second son graduated from West Point and is an infantry captain. He has a daughter, a graduate of the University of Florida.
Paul Eaton followed in his father's footsteps to West Point in 1968, graduating with the class of 1972. He is fluent in French, receiving a Master of Arts from Middlebury College in French Political science. .
As a lieutenant and captain, Eaton served in the 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado, and was later transferred to Germany as part of 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division ("Brigade 76"), where he served as an assistant brigade S3 (operations) officer and later was an infantry company commander. As major and lieutenant colonel Eaton was assigned to key battalion and brigade staff positions in the old 9th Infantry Division, then on the I Corps staff. He also commanded an infantry battalion of the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York, and later served as the G3 (operations) officer of the division during Operation Restore Hope in Somalia.
As a colonel in the mid 1990s he commanded an Army brigade in Germany and following promotion to brigadier general was the assistant division commander of the 1st Armored Division. In 2000, he returned to the US to serve as deputy commanding general of the Army Infantry Center and School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and later he led the creation of the Army’s new Stryker brigades at Fort Lewis, Washington. As a major general he returned to Fort Benning to be commanding general of the Army Infantry Center and School. He was then assigned to Iraq as Commanding General of the Coalition Military Assistance Training Team (CMATT), where he was in charge of training the Iraqi military from 2003 to 2004.
Upon return to the US he was Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Training, United States Army Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Monroe, Virginia.
Eaton's awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Meritorious Service Medal (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Achievement Medal, Expert Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, Ranger Tab, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge.
After retiring from the Army in 2006 Eaton was a frequent guest on various media outlets, where he often criticized the Bush administration's prosecution of the Iraq War. In 2007, Eaton appeared in a political ad for VoteVets.org, similar to the ones prepared by John Batiste.  Eaton asserted that President Bush did not heed the advice given by his military commanders. Eaton appeared on Bill Maher's talkshow and spoke out strongly against those who launched the Iraq war. In 2008 Eaton served as an advisor to Senator Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. Following Clinton's concession of the Democratic primary, Eaton has made several appearances in support of Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign.