Raymond Odierno, US general who led the Allied forces in Iraq, dies at the age of 67 | US military


Raymond Odierno, a U.S. general who commanded American and coalition forces in Iraq at the height of the war and ended a 39-year career as Army chief of staff, has died, his family said on Saturday. He was 67.

“The general died after a valiant battle with cancer; his death had nothing to do with Covid, “it said in a statement. “His family is grateful for the concern and asks for privacy.”

Odierno died on Friday. The family wouldn’t say where. Information about the funeral and burial is not yet available, it said.

Born in Rockaway, New Jersey, Odierno graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point, New York in 1976 with a field artillery commission.

He has served in a variety of roles, touring abroad including Iraq, Germany, Albania and Kuwait. As a three-star general, he was assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a job that made him the chief military advisor to the Secretary of State.

Odierno completed three tours in Iraq from 2008 to 2010, which were limited to two years, as the US Supreme Commander in Baghdad. He was replaced in this post by General Lloyd Austin, now Secretary of Defense. Odierno was in command of the Multi-National Corps-Iraq from 2006 to 2008.

When Odierno retired in 2015, he was replaced as Army Chief of Staff by General Mark Milley, the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

At a ceremony marking Odierno’s resignation, then Defense Secretary Ashton Carter described him as a commanding officer whose tenacity and operational skill gave civilian leaders great confidence.

“His authoritative presence calmed the confused, and his courage and compassion helped bear the burden of loss and sacrifice,” said Carter.

Soldiers from Odierno’s 4th Infantry Division were involved in the capture of Saddam Hussein in December 2003. That gave hope to quell an emerging insurrection, but in 2004 the insurrection gained momentum.

The Washington Post reported on Odierno’s death, saying Odierno was “an imposing figure, six feet tall and weighing 250 pounds with a shaved head.” [who] was easy to get along with and developed a strong relationship with his troops. He was considered one of the most capable battlefield leaders in the army. “

He was, according to the newspaper, “an important architect of the ‘recovery’ of the US armed forces“. [later in] the Iraq war, which was credited with reducing violence and increasing stability in the country ”.

The Post also quoted journalist and military historian Thomas Ricks as writing in his 2006 History of the Invasion and Early Occupation of Iraq, Fiasco, “Odierno’s brigades and battalions have earned a reputation for being overly aggressive.

“Internal army reports and commanders kept saying in interviews [the 4th Infantry Division] ham-fisted approaches that seemed to pacify the area in the short term, but alienated large parts of the population. “

Three months ago, North Carolina State University announced that Odierno had joined its board of trustees. During his military career, he earned a Master of Science degree in nuclear effects technology from the State of North Carolina. He was president of Odierno Associates, a consulting firm in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

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