• Raymond Odierno

    Gen. Raymond Odierno

    BY: John Hogan

    General Raymond T. Odierno, assumed duty as the 38th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army on 7 September 2011.

    A native of Rockaway, New Jersey, General Odierno attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduating in 1976 with a commission in Field Artillery. During more than 37 years of service, he has commanded units at every echelon, from platoon to theater, with duty in Germany, Albania, Kuwait, Iraq, and the United States. After his first assignment with U.S. Army Europe, General Odierno was assigned to the XVIII Airborne Corps Artillery at Fort Bragg, N.C., where he commanded two batteries and served as a battalion operations officer.

    General Odierno returned to U.S. Army Europe serving as a battalion executive officer and division artillery executive officer including deployment for Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM. He later commanded 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery, 7th Infantry Division, and the Division Artillery, 1st Cavalry Division.

    From October 2001 to June 2004, General Odierno commanded the 4th Infantry Division, leading the division during Operation Iraqi Freedom from April 2003 to March 2004. From December 2006 to February 2008, he served as the Commanding General, Multi-National Corps – Iraq (III Corps) as the operational commander of the surge of forces.  Later, he served as the Commanding General, Multi- National Force – Iraq and subsequently United States Forces – Iraq, from September 2008 until September 2010. From October 2010 until August 2011, he was the Commander of United States Joint Forces Command.

    Other significant assignments include: Arms Control Officer, Office of the Secretary of Defense; Chief of Staff, V Corps; Assistant Division Commander (Support), 1st Armored Division; Deputy Commanding General, Task Force Hawk, Albania; Director of Force Management, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans; and Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff where he was the primary military advisor to Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.

    General Odierno holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from West Point and a master’s degree in Nuclear Effects Engineering from North Carolina State University.  He is a graduate of the Army War College and holds a master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.  He also holds an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from North Carolina State University and an honorary Doctorate of Laws Honoris Causa from the Institute of World Politics.

    General Odierno is married to his high school sweetheart, Linda. They have three children: son Tony and his wife Daniela; daughter Katie and her husband Nick Funk; and son Mike.  He and Linda also have four grandsons.  His oldest son, Army Captain (Retired) Tony Odierno, is a combat veteran.

    General Odierno’s awards and decorations include four Defense Distinguished Service Medals, two Army Distinguished Service Medals, the Defense Superior Service Medal, six Legions of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, four Meritorious Service Medals, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Badge.  He has also received the Secretary of State Distinguished Service Medal and numerous foreign awards.

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