George William Casey, Jr.
Engagements: • Kosovo War (1998 - 1999)• Iraq War (Operation Iraqi Freedom) (2003 - 2011)
George William Casey, Jr.
George William Casey, Jr. was born on 22 July 1948 in Sendai the capital city of Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, during the Allied occupation of Japan. His father, George William Casey, Sr., was a West Point graduate who rose to the rank of Major General and served in two wars (Korea and Vietnam). [Honoree Record ID 2319] His father commanded the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam and was killed on 7 July 1970 when his command helicopter crashed in South Vietnam enroute to a hospital to visit wounded U.S. soldiers.
A military brat, Casey grew up on Army posts in the U.S. and Germany and graduated from Boston College High School in Dorchester, MA. After high school, he earned his Bachelor of Science in International Relations from Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service in 1970 and received his Master of Arts in International Relations from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver in 1980. Additionally, Casey worked for Vince Lombardi during one summer when the latter was coach of the Washington Redskins.
Casey was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant through the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) in 1970 following his graduation from Georgetown University.
Casey served in the Mechanized Infantry during the command portion of his career. He was Commander of the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division, and the Assistant Division Commander - Maneuver (later Assistant Division Commander - Support) of the 1st Armored Division in Germany. He deployed as part of Operation Joint Endeavor to Bosnia-Herzegovina from July 1996 to August 1997. He and the Rear Command Post staff were based in Slavonski Brod, Croatia. Casey took command of the 1st Armored Division in July 1999.
After relinquishing command of the 1st Armored Division in July 2001, Casey served in a senior staff position in the Pentagon as the Director of Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5), the Joint Staff from October 2001 to January 2003. His next position was Director of the Joint Staff in Washington, DC, from January 2003 to October 2003. Following these assignments, Casey was nominated and confirmed as the 30th Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, serving in that post until June 2004.
Commander of Multinational Force Iraq
Casey served as the senior coalition commander in Iraq from June 2004 to February 2007. He replaced Lieutenant General Ricardo S. Sanchez. Casey's goal was to encourage the Iraqis to take ownership of their problems and responsibility for their own security. For his part as a military commander, he focused on training Iraqi forces, limiting the role of American forces, and transferring the burden for providing security to Iraqi forces. Meanwhile, U.S. diplomats would focus on building and strengthening the Iraqi government and help the Iraqis hold elections. He expressed his view that a large and intrusive American presence in Iraq would not solve the political and security problems in that country and could even fuel the insurgency.
In 2005, Casey was hopeful that the December 2005 Iraqi elections could lead to a more unified and moderate Iraq which-in conjunction with the training of Iraqi security forces-could pave the way for U.S. troop reductions in early 2006. In August 2005, Casey used specific troop numbers in his public discussion of a possible drawdown. He said the then current troop level of 138,000 could be reduced by 30,000 in the early months of 2006 as Iraqi security forces took on a greater role. President Bush publicly called the talk "speculation" and rebuked the general. The bombing of the al-Askari Mosque, a sacred Shia religious site in Samarra, is believed to have stoked sectarian tensions and derailed coalition plans to speedily transfer significant security responsibility to the Iraqi government by the end of 2006.
In January 2007, Casey implied his opposition to a troop surge, "the longer we in the U.S. forces continue to bear the main burden of Iraq's security, it lengthens the time that the government of Iraq has to take the hard decisions about reconciliation and dealing with the militias. And the other thing is that they can continue to blame us for all of Iraq's problems, which are at base their problems. It's always been my view that a heavy and sustained American military presence was not going to solve the problems in Iraq over the long term."
Army Chief of Staff
In January 2007, President George W. Bush nominated Casey for elevation to Chief of Staff of the Army. The Senate confirmed his nomination on 8 February 2007 with a bipartisan vote of 83-14.
On 10 February 2007, Casey relinquished command in Iraq to General David Petraeus. Casey officially succeeded General Peter Schoomaker as Chief of Staff of the Army on 10 April 2007.
As the 36th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army from April 2007-11, General Casey led what is arguably the world's largest and most complex organization - 1.1 million people strong, with a $200+ billion annual budget - during one of the most extraordinary periods in military and global political history. He became Chief of Staff of an Army that was stretched from 6 years of continuous war. Over his tenure he stabilized and transformed the Army to meet the challenges of the 21st Century while continuing to meet the demands of two wars. General Casey transformed an Army trained and prepared for conventional war, to an agile force more suited to today's challenges.
He accelerated the growth of the Army; instituted Retention Bonuses for young officers; increased the funding for Soldier and Family Programs; improved the way the Army cared for its Wounded Soldiers and Surviving Family Members; and drove down the stigma associated with behavioral health counseling to stabilize an Army stretched by war. He also improved the leadership training for the Army's General Officer Corps; advanced the transformation of the Army's business and decision making processes; moved the Army onto a rotational deployment program much like the Marine Corps'; and oversaw a substantial improvement in the capabilities of the Army National Guard and Army Reserves.
On 11 April 2011, Casey handed over his position as Army Chief of Staff to General Martin E. Dempsey and retired from the Army at a ceremony in Fort Myer, VA.
Medals and Awards
Defense Distinguished Service Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters
Badges, Tabs, Bars and Insignia
Expert Infantryman Badge
|Honoree ID: 201||Created by: MHOH|