William B. Caldwell

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William R. Caldwell IV
LTG William B Caldwell IV Official Photo 2011.jpg
Caldwell in 2011
Nickname(s) "Bill"[1][2]
Born (1954-01-24) January 24, 1954 (age 63)
Columbus, Georgia, U.S.
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1976–2013
Rank Army-USA-OF-08.svg Lieutenant general
Commands held CSC, 1st Battalion, 505th PIR, 82nd Airborne Division
B Company, 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry, 1st Armored Division
4th Battalion, 27th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division (Light)
1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (Light)
82nd Airborne Division
U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
Commander, NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan and Commander, Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan
United States Army North

Invasion of Panama

Somali Civil War

Persian Gulf War

Global War on Terrorism

Awards Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star[3]

William R. "Bill" Caldwell IV (born January 24, 1954)[4] is a retired United States Army officer. Caldwell's final military assignment was as Commanding General of United States Army North, also known as the Fifth Army. Prior to his assignment at Fort Sam Houston, Caldwell served as the Commander of NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan, and simultaneously as the Commander of Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan.[5] Other command assignments Caldwell held include the United States Army Combined Arms Center and the 82nd Airborne Division.

Early life and education[edit]

Originally from Columbus, Georgia, Caldwell's family moved frequently. His father, William B. Caldwell, III was a serving officer in the US Army, eventually retiring as the Commander of Fifth Army. During Caldwell's early childhood, his father was stationed at the United States Military Academy. Growing up there gave him a chance to interact with West Point cadets, who helped teach some youth sports teams, which deeply influenced him:

"I found that I just really had a great respect and admiration for the cadets at the academy. I thought, 'Boy, I'd love to do something like that one day.' Then with time, I thought I'd like to serve in the armed forces, and so that led me to apply for the military academy.[6] "

Caldwell attended the SHAPE American High School at SHAPE,[7] Belgium followed by Hargrave Military Academy,[8] a private military boarding school in Chatham, Virginia. From there, he was accepted to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. After graduation from West Point in 1976, Caldwell served in posts throughout the country and overseas. He continued his education with a master's degree in systems technology from the Naval Postgraduate School and then a master of military arts and sciences from the School for Advanced Military Studies which is part of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. Caldwell has also attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government and Harvard University as a Senior Service College Fellow.


Caldwell learned early on that the military required him to be flexible and ready for new challenges. One month before leaving his battalion command position in the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii, for example, his commanding general sent him to Haiti to work as his political-military liaison in the U.S. Embassy during Operation Uphold Democracy in the mid-1990s.

Caldwell took his communications, intelligence and operations cells and worked in the embassy for six months. "I gave up command, formed this organization and took off to go work in an American embassy, which I'd never done in my life", he recalled. "In fact, I'm not even sure I'd ever been in an American embassy overseas in my life. I literally started from scratch."

After his tour in Haiti, he commanded the 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, at Fort Drum, New York. He worked in the Office of the Director for Strategic Plans and Policy on the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, and later served as the executive assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Caldwell's duties once again tested his readiness and flexibility after the September 11 attacks in 2001. During this time Caldwell was serving as deputy director for operations, U.S. Pacific Command, Hawaii. The command's focus shifted from regional war plans to the Global War on Terrorism.

The headquarters changed to a 24-7 operations center, Caldwell said. "So, instead of having a cell of about six or eight people that worked 24-7, we now had a cell of about 50 people that worked 24-7.[6] "

Caldwell runs with soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division on Fort Bragg in 2005.

The operation required reserve component personnel to play a crucial role, the general noted. "They were indispensable in the execution of our operations in the Pacific, absolutely indispensable", he said. "They brought a wealth of knowledge that a lot of our folks who had just come in for the first time in the command did not have. So they proved their weight in gold."

In July 2002 Caldwell was assigned as senior military assistant to the deputy secretary of defense, Paul Wolfowitz. In this position he served his boss during the preparation, execution, and follow on for the Iraq War's Operation Iraqi Freedom and other aspects of the Global War on Terrorism.

From May 2004 until June 2006 Caldwell served as the Commanding General of the 82nd Airborne Division. As the division commander, Caldwell oversaw deployments by the units under his command to both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Hurricane Katrina[edit]

Caldwell speaks to sailors and relief workers at the Medical Center of Louisiana Charity Hospital in downtown New Orleans.

The 82nd Airborne's 3rd Brigade and Division Artillery along with supporting units deployed to support search-and-rescue and security operations in New Orleans, Louisiana after the city was flooded by Hurricane Katrina in September 2005. In all, 3,600 paratroopers commanded by Caldwell operated out of New Orleans International Airport under Task Force All-American. The division helped evacuate 6,000 residents, treat 1,352 people, and cleared 185 city blocks of debris.[9]

Caldwell walks in Eastern Baghdad in April 2007.

Multi-National Force - Iraq spokesman[edit]

Following his command of the 82nd, Caldwell was assigned as Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Effects and spokesperson for the Multi-National Force – Iraq, a position he held for 13 months.

United States Army Combined Arms Center[edit]

New York City policemen are greeted by Caldwell as he visits the Times Square Military Recruiting Station on March 10, 2008.

Caldwell was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general in June 2007 and served as the Commanding General of the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. As the Commanding General for the Combined Arms Center, he has responsibility for the Command and General Staff College and 17 other schools, centers, and training programs throughout the United States.

The Combined Arms Center is also responsible for the development of the U.S. Army's doctrinal manuals, training of the Army's commissioned and non-commissioned officers, oversight of major collective training exercises, integration of battle command systems and concepts, and supervision of the Army's Center for the collection and dissemination of lessons learned.

NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan/Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan[edit]

Caldwell assumed command of the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTM-A)/Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (CSTC-A) on November 21, 2009. Prior to the activation of NTM-A at that time, CSTC-A was a two-star command headed by then Major General Richard Formica. Elevating the Afghan training mission to a three-star command reflected the increased priority placed on training the Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) as part of President Barack Obama's Afghan "Surge." It also ensured unity of effort and purpose while helping secure and disperse funding for building all levels of the ANSF.[10]

Caldwell visits Afghan National Police personnel in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

After securing additional trainers and funding, the reorganization efforts at NTM-A began showing results. Less than a year after Caldwell took command, NTM-A trained an additional 68,000 soldiers for the Afghan National Army and 35,000 for the Afghan National Police.[11] These additions increased the size of the army to more than 144,000 and the police 115,000 by early November 2010.[12] By early 2011, the ANSF totaled nearly 300,000—just short of the level authorized by the Afghan Government and the United States Congress of 305,000.[13] Despite its success, NTM-A still faces a trainer shortfall, particularly regarding specialized trainers such as helicopter mechanics, medical personnel and intelligence specialists, among others. According to a Washington Post article, Caldwell was optimistic about Canada's plans to contribute more trainers but maintained more were needed to staff new police training centers, air mentor teams, and medical trainers.[14]

In 2010, while NTM-A ensured the continued increase in the quantity of the ANSF, increasing the quality of training and the soldiers and police fielded was of particular concentration. In 2011, the priorities changed to building sustainability and professionalism into the ANSF while continuing to add overall numbers.[15] As part of this effort, NTM-A is embarking on a screening process for all ANSF personnel to ensure Taliban and criminal elements have not infiltrated the force. Comprehensive screening will augment other recruiting vetting processes that began in 2009.[16] Caldwell's efforts in Afghanistan received praise from figures in the military and government, including Senator Carl Levin, United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and Admiral Mike Mullen.[17]

During this assignment Caldwell was investigated after a subordinate claimed Caldwell directed him to use psychological operations in order to influence U.S. political leaders to support the military effort in Afghanistan.[18] Doing so would be a violation of the Smith–Mundt Act. However, a thorough investigation lasting five months cleared Caldwell of any wrongdoing.[19][20]

Dawood Military Hospital[edit]

Three U.S. military officers testified that Caldwell tried to prevent the U.S. Department of Defense from investigating sub-standard conditions at an American-funded Afghan military hospital in Kabul. Caldwell's reasoning, according to Colonel Mark Fassl, was that there was "an election coming." However, Kenneth Moorefield, Deputy Inspector General for Special Plans and Operations, dismissed these allegations, claiming that there as no "attempt ... to delay our investigation ... or turn it off."[21]

The Wall Street Journal, which initially broke the story of the atrocities at Dawood Military Hospital[1]—sparking a U.S. Congressional investigation—later reported that Caldwell chastised military officers under his command for calling in the Inspector General, allegedly saying "that President Obama 'calls me Bill.'"[2] The Congressional probe into the atrocities at the Dawood Hospital thanked The Wall Street Journal, saying if it weren't for the newspaper, the story never would have come to light, the neglect would have persisted while U.S. taxpayer money would have continued to be wasted, propping up the deplorable conditions at the facility. Caldwell allegedly pressured The Wall Street Journal reporter who broke the story.[22]

The Department of Defense Office of Inspector General (DoDIG) conducted an investigation into the allegations and determined that Caldwell and his deputy Major General Gary S. Patton sought in 2011 to restrict contact with a team of investigators probing allegations of corruption and sub-standard patient care at Dawood National Military Hospital. The Inspector General recommended that the Secretary of the Army take appropriate action against Caldwell and his immediate subordinate, Major General Patton.[23] An Army spokesman stated that, following the investigation, Caldwell "requested that he be retired, knowing that these substantiated allegations would directly prevent any future promotion or assignment to a position of importance and responsibility."[24]

United States Army North (Fifth Army)[edit]

Caldwell's final military command was United States Army North, also known as the Fifth Army, which was also his father's final military assignment. Under Caldwell's command, Army North successfully executed seven National Special Security Events, six Presidential support missions, and supported a major wild land fire-fighting effort. They also supported civil authorities in responding to two major hurricanes (Isaac & Sandy). During Hurricane Sandy, Caldwell and Army North tracked and supervised the deployment of over 1,680 government personnel and civilian technicians and also helped provide over 8 million gallons of fuel and enough electricity to support 55,000 families. Caldwell and Army North also supported a number of regional certification exercises to include Ardent Sentry 12, Vibrant Response 13 and Vigilant Shield 13.

Caldwell and Army North also continued an unprecedented engagement with Mexico. In Fiscal Year 2008, Army North undertook only 3 training programs with Mexico's Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA). By 2012, however, Army North and SEDENA were participating in nearly 100 events.[25]

Caldwell turned over command of U.S. Army North to Lieutenant General Perry L. Wiggins on September 4, 2013.[26][27] He is currently the President of Georgia Military College.


Dates of rank[edit]

Rank Date
US Army O1 shoulderboard rotated.svg Second lieutenant 1976
US Army O2 shoulderboard rotated.svg First lieutenant 1978
US Army O3 shoulderboard rotated.svg Captain 1980
US Army O4 shoulderboard rotated.svg Major 1986
US Army O5 shoulderboard rotated.svg Lieutenant colonel 1992
US Army O6 shoulderboard rotated.svg Colonel 1996
US Army O7 shoulderboard rotated.svg Brigadier general 2001
US Army O8 shoulderboard rotated.svg Major general 2004
US Army O9 shoulderboard rotated.svg Lieutenant general 2007

Awards and decorations[edit]

U.S. military decorations
Defense Distinguished Service Medal ribbon.svg Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Homeland Security Distinguished Service Ribbon.svg Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Distinguished Service Medal (with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster)
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Defense Superior Service Medal (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit (with 1 Oak Leaf Clusters)
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Bronze Star (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Defense Meritorious Service Medal (with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster)
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Meritorious Service Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters)
Joint Service Commendation Medal ribbon.svg Joint Service Commendation Medal
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Army Commendation Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters)
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Army Achievement Medal (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters)
Unit awards
U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg Presidential Unit Citation
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Joint Meritorious Unit Award (with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters)
Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg Army Meritorious Unit Commendation
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation
U.S. service (campaign) medals and service and training ribbons
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal (with Bronze Service Star)
Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (with 2 Bronze Service Star)
Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png Southwest Asia Service Medal (with 2 Bronze Service Stars)
Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png Afghanistan Campaign Medal (with 3 Bronze Service Stars)
Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png Iraq Campaign Medal (with 2 Bronze Service Stars)
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal ribbon.svg Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal ribbon.svg Armed Forces Service Medal
Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png Humanitarian Service Medal (with 4 Bronze Service Star)
Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal ribbon.svg Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon.svg Army Service Ribbon
Award numeral 6.png Army Overseas Service Ribbon (with bronze award numeral 6)
Non-U.S. service medals
Bronze oak leaf cluster
NATO Meritorious Service Medal (with 1 oak leaf cluster)[29]
Bronze star
NATO Medal for ex-Yugoslavia with service star
EUPOL Afghanistan Medal[29]
Polish Armed Forces Gold Medal[29]
Afghanistan Ghazi Mir Bacha Khan Medal[29]
Afghanistan National Police Symbol of Honor Medal[29]
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia) ribbon.svg Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait) ribbon.svg Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
Army National Guard awards
Louisiana Cross of Merit[29]
Badges, patches and tabs
Combat Infantry Badge.svg Combat Infantryman Badge
Combat Action Badge.svg Combat Action Badge
Expert Infantry Badge.svg Expert Infantryman Badge
Ranger Tab.svg Ranger Tab
Master Parachutist badge (United States).svg Master Parachutist Badge
US - Presidential Service Badge.png Presidential Service Identification Badge
Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge.png Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge
Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
82nd Airborne Division CSIB.png 82nd Airborne Division Combat Service Identification Badge
505 Inf Rgt DUI.png 505th Infantry Regiment Distinctive Unit Insignia
ASU overseas service bar.jpg 8 Overseas Service Bars
German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency.jpg German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency in bronze
Fallschirmspringerabzeichen der Bundeswehr in Bronze.jpg German Parachutist badge in bronze
Canadian jump wings.png Canadian Jump Wings (red maple leaf)
Wings badge.JPG British Parachutist Badge
IrishSilver.jpg Irish Parachutist Badge in silver

Other awards[edit]

  • Honorary Member of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars Commander-in-Chief Gold Medal and Citation of Merit Award
  • Honorary ROCK of the Year in 2008[29]





See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b Abi-Habib, Maria. (2011). "Neglect at Afghan Military Hospital, Graft and Deadly Neglect" from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-08. Retrieved 2015-02-08. 
  2. ^ a b Abi-Habib, Maria. (2012) Pentagon Is Pressed on Afghan Inquiry from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-08. Retrieved 2015-02-08. 
  3. ^ "Leadership is their life". Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Columbus, GA. October 25, 2008. 
  4. ^ George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, Public Papers – 1991 – June, Appointment of the 1991–1992 White House Fellows, June 4, 1991
  5. ^ News article, Army Lt. Gen. Daniel P. Bolger Assumes NTM-A/CSTC-A Command, by Mass Communication Specialist First Class Chris Fahey, NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan, November 5, 2011
  6. ^ a b Casie, Vinall (July 22, 2003). "U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, Senior Military Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense". DefendAmerica.mil. Archived from the original on January 5, 2014. Retrieved 2007.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  7. ^ "SHAPE International School". Isbi.com. 2003-07-01. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013. Retrieved September 25, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Proiment alumni" (List). Hargrave Military Academy. Archived from the original on 2008-05-11. 
  9. ^ Gilmore, Gerry (September 21, 2005). "82nd Airborne Division Becomes 'Waterborne' in New Orleans". American Forces Press Service. Archived from the original on March 14, 2008. 
  10. ^ Dreazen, Y. (2010). U.S. Says Afghan Forces Growing Faster Than Expected. National Journal. Retrieved February 19, 2011, from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-11-29. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  11. ^ Riechmann, D. (2010). NATO Says 900 Trainers Needed for Afghan Forces. MSNBC.COM. Retrieved February 12, 2011, from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-11-11. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  12. ^ Partlow, J. (2010, November9). Milestone in Training Afghan Forces. The Washington Post, p. A-6.
  13. ^ Caldwell, W. (2011). The Unnoticed Surge in Afghan Security. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 18, 2011, from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-03-26. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  14. ^ Riechmann, D. (2011). NATO: 740 More Trainers Still Needed for Afghan Forces. The Washington Post. Retrieved February 17, 2011, from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-02-13. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  15. ^ Year in Review, pp. 6–7.
  16. ^ Vanden-Brook, T. (2011). Afghan Forces Undergo Stricter Vetting by NATO Commanders. USA Today. Retrieved February 18, 2011, from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-02-21. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  17. ^ Congressional Testimony. (2011). Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2012 and the Future Years Defense Program. Retrieved February 19, 2011, from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-03-04. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  18. ^ MSNBC.com, Report: Army Targeted U.S. Senators With Psy-Ops Archived 2013-12-22 at the Wayback Machine., February 24, 2011
  19. ^ Robert Burns, Associated Press, Army Times, Pentagon Clears 3-Star of Alleged Psyops Use, July 27, 2011
  20. ^ Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service, Report Clears Afghanistan Training Commander Archived 2013-07-13 at the Wayback Machine., July 28, 2011
  21. ^ Margasak, Larry. (2012). "Generals deny trying to stop Afghan hospital probe." Associated Pres. Retrieved February 25, 2013, from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-08. Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  22. ^ (2012). Al Jazeera from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-18. Retrieved 2015-02-08. .
  23. ^ Capaccio, Tony (September 19, 2013). "Generals Seen Trying to Impede Afghan Hospital Probe". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. Retrieved September 25, 2013. 
  24. ^ "3-star seen as trying to block Afghan hospital probe retires at rank". Army Times. 
  25. ^ Caldwell, William. "ARMY Magazine 2012–2013 Green Book" (2013). "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  26. ^ Michelle Tan, Army Times, Army North Welcomes New Commander, September 5, 2013
  27. ^ Joe Gould, Army Times, [1], November 6, 2013
  28. ^ "Georgia Military College Selects Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell IV as Next President" (Press release). Atlanta, GA: Parker Executive Search. February 26, 2013. Archived from the original on August 10, 2016. 
  29. ^ a b c d e f g "Statement of Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell IV United States Army Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense, and Foreign Operations" (PDF). United States House of Representatives. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 September 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 

External links[edit]