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Raymond T. Odierno (1954–2021), former U.S. Army chief of staff

by Linnea Crowther

Raymond T. Odierno was a U.S. Army general who helped shape the Iraq War and became the Army’s chief of staff.

Military career

Odierno attended West Point and was commissioned as second lieutenant in the U.S. Army when he graduated in 1976. By 1999, he had risen to brigadier general, and he went on to become one of the architects of the Iraq War, a major player in the direction of the Army during the conflict. There, his 4th Infantry Division included the units that captured Saddam Hussein. Later, Odierno oversaw the troop surge of 2007 in response to Iraqi insurgency. In 2008, Odierno became a four-star general, and he was named chief of staff, the highest-ranking U.S. Army official, in 2011. After his 2015 retirement from the Army, he was named chairman of USA Football as well as chairman of the NHL’s Florida Panthers.

Notable quote

“Being the Chief of Staff of the Army is the most humbling experience I’ve ever had. I have the opportunity to help shape and ensure that this institution keeps moving forward.” —from a 2014 interview for Joint Force Quarterly

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Tributes to Raymond T. Odierno

Full obituary: The Washington Post

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