Ray Odierno, Army general who led troops through Iraq War, dies at 67


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Ray Odierno salutes during his retirement ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson, August 14, 2015 in Arlington, Va. Odierno, who was the Army’s 38th Chief of Staff, died on Friday, his family said.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images


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During his time in the position, the military was under growing scrutiny for the alarming increase in military sexual assaults. Odierno was adamant about addressing the issue. But he was firm in his stance that the process should remain within the military command structure, and resisted efforts in Congress to take sexual assault cases out of the chain of command.

«We must take a hard look at that system,» he told lawmakers in 2013. «… We can’t simply legislate our way out of this.»

In 2015, Odierno retired from the military after more than 37 years of service.

Following news of his death, the Army shared its condolences in a message on Twitter.

«His love, respect and commitment to Soldiers & their families is his legacy. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family,» the Army said.

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden called Odierno a «hero» in a statement released by the White House. Odierno had spoken at the funeral of the president’s son Beau Biden in 2015 and awarded him the Legion of Merit; he was the commanding general when Beau Biden served in Iraq.

«When we think back on our time as Vice President and Second Lady, Ray was part of some of our most poignant memories—ones that will be with us for the rest of our lives,» the Bidens said.

«We can think of no person who better encapsulated that basic creed of duty, honor, country than General Ray Odierno. He made our entire nation better, stronger, and more secure.»

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  • Iraq war
  • Joe Biden
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