John Abizaid bigraphy, stories - Army general

John Abizaid : biography

April 4, 1951 -

John Philip Abizaid (born April 1, 1951) is a retired General in the United States Army and former Commander of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), overseeing American military operations in a 27-country region, from the Horn of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, to South and Central Asia, covering much of the Middle East. CENTCOM oversees 250,000 US troops. Abizaid succeeded General Tommy Franks as Commander, USCENTCOM, on July 7, 2003, and was also elevated to the rank of four-star general the same week. He was succeeded by Admiral William J. Fallon on March 16, 2007.

Abizaid retired from the military on May 1, 2007 after 34 years of service. As of 2007, Abizaid is employed as a fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He assumed the Distinguished Chair of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point in December 2007. Abizaid was appointed to the board of directors of RPM International on January 24, 2008, and also sits on the board of directors of the Defense Ventures Group.http://www.wrhi.com/2010/08/spratt-to-tour-defense-venture-group-facility-in-lancaster In 2008 he was selected as a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College.http://www.dartmouth.edu/~news/releases/2008/10/10.html

Service career

Abizaid was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry upon graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, Class of June 1973. He started his career with the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he served as a rifle and scout platoon leader. He commanded companies in the 2nd and 1st Ranger Battalions, leading a Ranger Rifle Company during the invasion of Grenada. In 1983, he jumped from an MC-130 onto a landing strip in Grenada and ordered one of his Rangers to drive a bulldozer like a tank toward Cuban troops as he advanced behind it—a move highlighted in the 1986 Clint Eastwood film, Heartbreak Ridge.

Abizaid commanded the 3rd Battalion, 325th Airborne Regiment combat Team in Vicenza, Italy, during the Persian Gulf War and deployed with the battalion in Northern Iraq to provide a safe haven for the Kurds.

His brigade command was the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division. He served as the Assistant Division Commander, 1st Armored Division, in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Following that tour, he served as the 66th Commandant at the United States Military Academy at West Point. At West Point, he reined in hazing rituals and revamped the curriculum. Later, he took command of the 1st Infantry Division, the “Big Red One,” in Würzburg, Germany, from David L. Grange, which provided the first U.S. ground forces into Kosovo. He served as the Deputy Commander (Forward), Combined Forces Command, US Central Command during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Staff assignments include a tour with the United Nations as Operations Officer (G-3) for Observer Group Lebanon and a tour in the Office of the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. European staff tours include assignments in both the Southern European Task Force and Headquarters, U.S. Army Europe. Abizaid also served as Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Director of Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5) on the Joint Staff and Director of the Joint Staff.

Following the 2003 Iraq War and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, he assumed command of Central Command from General Tommy Franks.

On December 20, 2006, it was announced that Gen. Abizaid would step down from his position and retire in March 2007. He had planned to retire earlier, but stayed at the urging of Donald Rumsfeld. On March 16, 2007, Abizaid transferred command to Admiral William J. Fallon, after serving longer as Commander, U.S. Central Command than any of his predecessors.

Early life and marriage

Abizaid, a Lebanese American, was born in northern California. He was raised Catholic. His father, a Navy machinist in World War II, raised him after Abizaid's mother died of cancer.

Abizaid is married and has three children. He learned Arabic in the military.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine