Raymond T. Odierno

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Raymond T. Odierno
Odierno Raymond CSA ASU.jpg
Odierno in 2012 as Chief of Staff of the Army
Nickname(s)Ray
General O[1]
Born(1954-09-08)8 September 1954
Rockaway, New Jersey
Died8 October 2021(2021-10-08) (aged 67)
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1976–2015
RankGeneral
Commands held
Battles/warsGulf War
Iraq War
Awards
Spouse(s)Linda[2]
SignatureRaymond T. Odierno signature.svg

Raymond Thomas Odierno /diˈɛərn/ (8 September 1954 – 8 October 2021) was an American military officer who served as a four-star general of the United States Army and as the 38th chief of staff of the Army. Prior to his service as chief of staff, Odierno commanded United States Joint Forces Command from October 2010 until its disestablishment in August 2011. He served as Commanding General, United States Forces – Iraq and its predecessor, Multi-National Force – Iraq, from September 2008 through September 2010.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Raymond Thomas Odierno,[4] of Italian descent, was born on 8 September 1954[4] in Dover, New Jersey, the son of Helen and Raymond J. Odierno.[5][6] He grew up in Rockaway, New Jersey,[7][8] and attended Morris Hills High School, graduating in 1972,[9] followed by the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated in June 1976 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He later received a Master of Science degree in nuclear effects engineering from North Carolina State University and a Master of Arts degree in national security and strategy from the Naval War College.[10]

Career[edit]

Odierno was commissioned as an officer upon his graduation from West Point in 1976. Over his career, he was stationed in Germany, Saudi Arabia, the Balkans, and the US.[11]

Iraq War[edit]

Odierno served three tours in Iraq between 2008 and 2010.[12] He commanded the 4th Infantry Division during the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, with headquarters at Tikrit.[13] According to Thomas E. Ricks, the Division employed aggressive tactics under his leadership;[14] according to a 2008 profile of Odierno in The Guardian, the Division followed an "iron-fist strategy" under his command.[15] Odierno replaced Peter W. Chiarelli as commander of Multi-National Corps – Iraq in 2006.[16] As commander, Odierno promoted the Iraq War troop surge of 2007 as an alternative to the then-prevailing military strategy.[4] His tactics as commander were less "confrontational" than those he had employed as commander of the 4th Infantry Division.[14] Odierno oversaw the surge from December 2006 to March 2008.[17] In September 2008, Odierno took over from David Petraeus as commander of US forces in Iraq.[18] According to then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Odierno's experience as commander during the surge suited him to succeed Petraeus.[17] Later that year, Odierno announced a "subtle shift" in US military operations in Iraq, whereby the United States would seek the approval of Iraq's government before engaging in combat.[19]

Army leadership[edit]

Odierno is sworn in as Army chief of staff by Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, 7 September 2011.

On 30 May 2011, Odierno was nominated to be Army Chief of Staff.[20] He was confirmed to take over from General Martin E. Dempsey on 7 September 2011, and sworn in as 38th Army chief of staff later that day.[20] In 2014, Odierno submitted a budget request for 520,000 active-duty soldiers, and said that the bare minimum was 450,000, which would, however, be at a "high risk to meet one major war".[21] As chief of staff, Odierno said in a 2015 interview with The Daily Telegraph that he was "very concerned" about a decline in the United Kingdom's military spending.[22][23] In August 2015, Odierno retired from the Army after 39 years of service.[24][25]

Post-military activities[edit]

In January 2017, Odierno was named chairman of USA Football, a national organization that promotes youth football.[26] He was named chairman and alternate governor of the National Hockey League's Florida Panthers on 12 October 2017.[27][28] In January 2019, he was selected to serve a three-year term on the College Football Playoff selection committee.[29] In July 2021, he was selected as a member of the board of trustees at North Carolina State University.[30]

Assignments[edit]

Source:[31]

Promotions[edit]

U.S. Military Academy COA.png United States Military Academy – Class of 1976

Insignia Rank Date of rank
US-OF1B.svg Second lieutenant 2 June 1976
US-OF1A.svg First lieutenant 2 June 1978
US-O3 insignia.svg Captain 1 August 1980
US-O4 insignia.svg Major 1 December 1986
US-O5 insignia.svg Lieutenant colonel 1 February 1992
US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel 1 September 1995
US-O7 insignia.svg Brigadier general 1 July 1999
US-O8 insignia.svg Major general 1 November 2002
US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant general 1 January 2005
US-O10 insignia.svg General 16 September 2008

Officer assignments[edit]

From To Assignments
Oct 1976 Jan 1978 Support Platoon Leader, later Firing Platoon Leader, C Battery, 1st Battalion, 41st Field Artillery Regiment, 56th Field Artillery Brigade, United States Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany
Jan 1978 Oct 1979 Survey Officer, 1st Battalion, 41st Field Artillery Regiment, 56th Field Artillery Brigade, United States Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany
Nov 1979 Jul 1980 Student, Field Artillery Advanced Course, Fort Sill, Oklahoma
Aug 1980 Dec 1980 Liaison Officer, 1st Battalion, 73rd Field Artillery Regiment, XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Dec 1980 Dec 1982 Commander, Service Battery, later A Battery, 1st Battalion, 73rd Field Artillery Regiment, XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Dec 1982 May 1983 Assistant S-3 (Operations), 1st Battalion, 73d Field Artillery Regiment, XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Jun 1983 May 1984 S-3 (Operations), 3rd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery Regiment, XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Jun 1984 Aug 1986 Student, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina
Sep 1986 Jun 1989 Nuclear Research Officer, later Chief, Acquisition Support Division, Defense Nuclear Agency, Alexandria, Virginia, later detailed as Military Advisor for Arms Control, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, DC
Jun 1989 Jun 1990 Student, United States Naval Command and Staff Course, Newport, Rhode Island
Jul 1990 Dec 1990 Executive Officer, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Armored Division, United States Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany
Dec 1990 Jun 1991 Executive Officer, Division Artillery, 3rd Armored Division, United States Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany. Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, Saudi Arabia
Jun 1991 May 1992 Executive Officer, 42nd Field Artillery Brigade, V Corps, United States Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany
Jun 1992 Jun 1994 Commander, 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery Regiment, 7th Infantry Division (Light), Fort Ord, California (relocated to Fort Lewis, Washington)
Jun 1994 Jun 1995 Student, United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania
Jun 1995 Jun 1997 Commander, Division Artillery, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas
Jun 1997 Aug 1998 Chief of Staff, V Corps, United States Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany
Aug 1998 Jul 1999 Assistant Division Commander (Support), 1st Armored Division, United States Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany to include duty as Deputy Commanding General for Ground Operations, Task Force Hawk, Operation Allied Force, Albania
Jul 1999 Jul 2001 Director, Force Management, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, United States Army, Washington, DC
Oct 2001 Aug 2004 Commanding General, 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Hood, Texas. Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq
Aug 2004 Oct 2004 Special Assistant to Vice Chief of Staff, United States Army, Washington, DC
Oct 2004 May 2006 Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, DC
May 2006 Dec 2006 Commanding General, III Corps and Fort Hood, Fort Hood, Texas
Dec 2006 Feb 2008 Commanding General, III Corps and Commander, Multi-National Corps-Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq
Feb 2008 Sep 2008 Commanding General, III Corps and Fort Hood, Fort Hood, Texas
Sep 2008 31 December 2009 Commander, Multi-National Force – Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq
1 January 2010 1 September 2010 Commander, United States Forces – Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq
29 October 2010 Aug 2011 Commander, United States Joint Forces Command, Norfolk, Virginia
7 September 2011 14 August 2015 Chief of Staff of the United States Army

Awards and honors[edit]

Odierno received the Naval War College Distinguished Graduate Leadership Award in 2009.[32] In 2012, Odierno received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.[33]

Personal life[edit]

Odierno and his wife had three children and four grandchildren. His son, retired U.S. Army Captain Anthony K. Odierno, is an Iraq War veteran who lost his left arm to a rocket-propelled grenade.[4][34]

Odierno died on 8 October 2021, from cancer at the age of 67.[28][35]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Statement by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III on the Passing of General (Ret.) Ray". U.S. Department of Defense.
  2. ^ Michelle Tan (14 August 2015). "Milley takes over as new chief of staff; Odierno retires". Army Times.
  3. ^ "Biden marks transfer of U.S. command in Iraq". CNN. 1 September 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d Schmitt, Eric P. (9 October 2021). "Gen. Raymond T. Odierno Dies at 67; Oversaw Iraq Surge". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  5. ^ "Biographical Sketch of Ltg Raymond T. Odierno, USA". Nominations before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Second Session, 110th Congress (PDF). 2008. p. 85.
  6. ^ http://www.allgov.com/news/appointments-and-resignations/chief-of-staff-of-the-us-army-who-is-raymond-odierno?news=844600
  7. ^ "Biographical Sketch of Gen Raymond T. Odierno, USA". Nominations before the Senate Armed Services Committee, First Session, 112th Congress (PDF). 2011. p. 738.
  8. ^ Cloud, David S. (26 May 2007). "U.S. Military Leader in Iraq Talks of 'Thinning the Lines'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  9. ^ Westhoven, William (15 May 2014). "Army chief of staff visits Morris Hills". Daily Record. Retrieved 10 October 2021. The brass was shining and the borough was beaming on Thursday as Gen. Ray Odierno, chief of staff of the U.S. Army, paid a visit to his alma mater, Morris Hills High School. "It's great to be back," said the 1972 Morris Hills graduate.
  10. ^ "General Raymond T. Odierno, 38th Chief of Staff for the U.S. Army" (PDF). house.gov. U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  11. ^ American Military History, Volume II: The United States Army in a Global Era, 1917–2008. United States Army Center of Military History. 2010. p. 508. ISBN 978-0-16-084184-2.
  12. ^ Burns, Robert (9 October 2021). "Army general who commanded in Iraq dies of cancer at age 67". Associated Press. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  13. ^ Gordon & Trainor 2013, p. 26.
  14. ^ a b Schudel, Matt (9 October 2021). "Raymond T. Odierno, Army general who helped devise Iraq War strategy, dies at 67". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  15. ^ Tran, Mark (16 September 2008). "General Ray Odierno profile". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  16. ^ Gordon & Trainor 2013, p. 298.
  17. ^ a b Orr, James (16 September 2008). "General Raymond Odierno assumes US military command in Iraq". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  18. ^ "Odierno replaces Petraeus as U.S. commander in Iraq". The New York Times. 16 September 2008. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  19. ^ "'Subtle shift' to US role in Iraq". BBC News. 5 December 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  20. ^ a b "Obama nominates Dempsey to chair Joint Chiefs". USA Today. 30 May 2011.
  21. ^ Brook, Tom Vanden; Locker, Ray (24 February 2014). "New Pentagon budget calls for smaller Army, pay changes". USA Today. Retrieved 4 March 2014. Odierno had warned Pentagon leaders that the 450,000-soldier level would be "too small," and at "high risk to meet one major war,"...
  22. ^ "UK defence spending 'concerns' US Army chief Raymond Odierno". BBC News. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  23. ^ "US army chief 'very concerned' about impact of cuts on British forces". The Guardian. PA Media. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  24. ^ Dan Lamothe (13 August 2015). "In parting, retiring Army chief raises concerns about battle-hardened leaders and Gold Star families". Washington Post.
  25. ^ Michelle Tan, Staff writer (14 August 2015). "Milley takes over as new chief of staff; Odierno retires". Army Times.
  26. ^ Kevin Lilley (15 February 2017). "Gridiron General: Odierno talks safety, growth in new role as USA Football chairman". Military Times. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  27. ^ "Raymond Odierno named Florida Panthers Chairman and Alternate Governor". NHL.com. 12 October 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  28. ^ a b Richards, George (10 October 2021). "General Raymond T. Odierno, Florida Panthers executive, passes away". Florida Hockey Now. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  29. ^ "Mohajir, Odierno and Slocum Named to College Football Playoff Selection Committee". 16 January 2019. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  30. ^ "Trustees Welcome New and Returning Members, Elect Officers". NC State News. 8 July 2021. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  31. ^ https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-110shrg46092/html/CHRG-110shrg46092.htm
  32. ^ Jackson, John E.; DuVall, Jondavid; Rhoades, Kimberly, eds. (2010). Naval War College Illustrated History and Guide. Government Printing Office. p. 133. ISBN 978-1-884733-99-4.
  33. ^ Young, Adam D. (9 May 2012). "Operation Hope founder John Thomas to receive Ellis Island Medal of Honor". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  34. ^ Curry, Jack (4 July 2008). "Yankee Intern, Injured in Iraq, to Throw Out First Pitch Friday". The New York Times.
  35. ^ Burns, Robert (9 October 2021). "Army general who commanded in Iraq dies of cancer at age 67". ABC News. Retrieved 10 October 2021.

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Commanding General of the Multinational Corps-Iraq
2006–2008
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Commanding General of the Multinational Force-Iraq
2008–2010
Position abolished
New office Commanding General of the United States Forces-Iraq
2010
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Commander of United States Joint Forces Command
2010–2011
Position abolished
Preceded by
Chief of Staff of the Army
2011–2015
Succeeded by