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Posted: 5/22/2003 9:33:12 AM EDT
[url]http://www.msnbc.com/news/916898.asp?0cv=CB10[/url] WASHINGTON, May 22 — Army Gen. Tommy Franks, who orchestrated the U.S. military campaign against Iraq, has decided to retire, Pentagon officials told NBC News on Thursday. FRANKS MADE HIS decision after turning down an offer to serve as the Army’s chief of staff, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Among other things, Franks plans to write a book and hit the speaking circuit, the officials said. Franks, 57, has been the head of the military’s Central Command since July 2000. In that position, he oversaw the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq while coordinating U.S. military operations in 23 other nations stretching from the Horn of Africa into Central Asia. Franks grew up in Midland, Texas, President Bush’s hometown, attending the same high school as first lady Laura Bush, who was a year behind him. He has been married for 33 years to his wife, Cindy. After two years of what Franks describes as “abysmal” grades at the University of Texas at Austin, he joined the Army and was soon an artillery lieutenant bound for Vietnam, where his injuries earned him three Purple Hearts. After Vietnam, Franks intended to leave the military but stayed on when he was selected for the Army’s “Bootstrap” degree completion program for promising officers. He attended the University of Texas at Arlington — this time, a model student. Franks’ military career took him from one world hot spot to another — the DMZ in Korea, a changing Europe, the Iraqi desert during Desert Storm. His commendations have included four Legion of Merit medals, three Bronze Stars with “V” for valor, an Air Medal with “V” and an Army Commendation Medal with “V.” His tenure has not been without its critics, particularly early in the Afghan war, when questions were raised about whether he was innovative enough for a 21st-century enemy like the al-Qaida terrorist network. Some questioned why al-Qaida fighters were able to slip away into Pakistan. Some even wondered if Franks would keep his job. But the sniping at Franks largely subsided as the Taliban were routed from Afghanistan, and Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made clear their support for the general. A potential successor to Franks is Army Lt. Gen. John Abizaid, Franks’ deputy whose name also has been mentioned as a possibility for the soon-to-be vacant Army chief of staff job. Abizaid is currently in Qatar but is expected to come back to the United States soon, at least for a brief visit.
Link Posted: 5/22/2003 9:55:28 AM EDT
Having worked with him directly, I have nothing but the highest respect for the guy. He's sure as shit earned it.
Link Posted: 5/22/2003 11:13:23 AM EDT
This is a big setback for Rumsfeld who really, really wanted Franks as the next Cheif of Staff. Rumsfeld and Shinseiki are not on speeking terms
Link Posted: 5/22/2003 12:21:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl: This is a big setback for Rumsfeld who really, really wanted Franks as the next Cheif of Staff. Rumsfeld and Shinseiki are not on speeking terms
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Don't forget that the first guy offered the job, General Keane - Army vice chief of staff - also turned it down. It will be interesting to see how deep the pick for the next CoS goes.
Link Posted: 5/22/2003 1:49:22 PM EDT
After Gulf War II, what's there to do next? Fly not only a desk but a commitee? He will be missed. Bilster
Link Posted: 5/22/2003 1:59:12 PM EDT
Gen. Franks has done his job well, he's probably a little like the rest of us nearing the upper end of our careers. He's done it all, and now he wants to do something really fun, something that he really wanted to do earlier, but was unable to do so, and of course now is his chance. The whole USA should be proud and thankful for such a talented man. I personally would like to wish the man well in his new endeavors.
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