Army general who commanded in Iraq dies of cancer at age 67

WASHINGTON (AP), Raymond T. Odierno, a former Army general, died Saturday. He commanded American and coalition forces during the height of war in Iraq. He also served as the Army's chief-of-staff for 39 years. He was 67.
After a courageous battle with cancer, the general died. A family statement stated that his death was unrelated to COVID. We do not have any other information at this time. His family is thankful for his concern and requests privacy.

Odierno, who died Friday, was not identified by the family. The family said that information on funerals and interments was not yet available.

Odierno, a Rockaway native, graduated from West Point's U.S. Military Academy in 1976 with a commission as a field artillery officer. His roles in the Army and Defense Department included multiple tours abroad in Iraq, Germany and Albania. He was a three-star General and served as the assistant to the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff. This job made him the chief military advisor to the secretary of State.

From 2008 to 2010, Odierno was the U.S. top commander in Baghdad. He served three tours in Iraq. He was succeeded by Gen. Lloyd Austin who is now the secretary for defense. From 2006 to 2008, Odierno was commander of Multi-National Corps-Iraq.

In 2015, Odierno was retired and replaced by Gen. Mark Milley as Army chief of Staff. Milley is currently the chairman of Joint Chiefs.

Ashton Carter, then-Defense Secretary, described Carter as a commander who gave civilian leaders great confidence through his operational savvy and tenacity during a ceremony to mark his retirement from Army.

Carter spoke of Carter's commanding presence that calmed the unconfused and helped to carry the weight of loss and sacrifice.

His 4th Infantry soldiers were part of the capture of Saddam Hussein's president in December 2003. This victory gave hope of quashing an insurgency. However, in 2004, the insurgency gained more momentum and led to al-Qaida's rise in Iraq.

North Carolina State University announced three months ago that Odierno had been elected to its board of trustees. He earned a Master's degree in nuclear effects engineering at North Carolina State during his military career. Odierno Associates was his consulting company in Pinehurst, North Carolina.