Raymond T. “Ray” Odierno, the 38th Chief of Staff of the Army, was born in Dover, New Jersey on September 8, 1954. A Field Artillery officer, he graduated from West Point in 1976. During “Operation Desert Storm,” he served as the executive officer (XO) for the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery in the 3rd Armored Division. He later served as the XO for the Division Artillery in that unit. General Odierno later commanded the 4th Infantry Division and the III Corps at Fort Hood. During his career, he earned a Master of Science Degree in Nuclear Effects Engineering from North Carolina State University and a Master of Arts Degree in National Security and Strategy from the Naval War College.
In Washington, DC, General Odierno served as the Director, Force Management in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, United States Army, and as Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C., where he was the primary military advisor to United States Secretary of State. He followed that in October 2010 as Commander U.S. Joint Forces Command. On September 7, 2011, he was sworn in as the 38th Chief of Staff of the Army. He held this position until August 2015 when he retired from Active Duty.
Like his predecessor, Martin Dempsey, General Odierno spent many years in Iraq, helping to stabilize the situation and implementing the successful “Surge Strategy,” conceived by General Dave Petraeus.