Today we celebrate the memory of 38th Army Chief of Staff, General Raymond Odierno, who passed this October 8th, 2021 from cancer at the age of 67.
Odierno lived a life of service and duty. Hailing from Rockaway, New Jersey, he commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army upon his graduation from West Point in 1976. His career spanned three tours in Iraq between 2008 and 2010. Odierno received the Naval War College Distinguished Graduate Leadership Award in 2009. In 2012, Odierno received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
Odierno took command of the Multi-National Corps – Iraq in 2006. As commander, Odierno promoted the Iraq War troop surge of 2007 as an alternative to the then-prevailing military strategy. His tactics as commander were less "confrontational" than those he had employed as commander of the 4th Infantry Division. In September 2008, Odierno took over from David Petraeus as commander of US forces in Iraq.
On 30 May 2011, Odierno was nominated to be Army Chief of Staff. He was confirmed to take over from General Martin E. Dempsey on 7 September 2011 and swore in as 38th Army chief of staff later that day. In August 2015, Odierno retired from the Army after 39 years of honorable service.
In January 2017, Odierno was named chairman of USA Football, a national organization that promotes youth football. He was named chairman and alternate governor of the National Hockey League's Florida Panthers on 12 October 2017, and in January 2019, he was selected to serve a three-year term on the College Football Playoff selection committee.
He is survived by his wife, Linda and their three children, as well as four grandchildren. His son, retired U.S. Army Captain Anthony K. Odierno, also served and is a veteran of the Iraq war.
We will always be grateful to Raymond Odierno for his selfless and dedicated service. May he rest in peace, knowing his memory will live on in the actions and deeds of those who loved him, and in the valor and bravery of the men and women of our armed forces.