General Norman Schwarzkopf, best known for overseeing the prosecution of the 1991 Gulf War as the head of U.S. Central Command, has died of complications of pneumonia. He was 78.
A graduate of West Point, Schwarzkopf did two tours of duty in Vietnam and served with distinction earning three Silver Stars, three Distinguished Service Medals, a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. One of those Silver Stars was earned rescuing several soldiers under his command from a mine field.
Schwarzkopf gradually rose through military ranks during the 70s and 80s when President Reagan appointed him to head up CENTCOM in November 1988. He would become a household name during Operation Desert Storm and earned the nickname “Stormin’ Norman” as U.S. and Coalition forces drove the Iraqi Army out of Kuwait. He would retire from military duty the following year eschewing calls for him to run for elected office.
At the time, there was criticism for not removing Saddam Hussein from power and allowing the Iraqi Army to put down the Shia uprisings. For his part, Schwarzkopf had mixed feelings about the War in Iraq. Prior to the invasion, he did wonder if the war would have been necessary had different decisions been made in 1991. Sadly, we will never know.
I leave you with Schwarzkopf explaining the meaning of leadership.
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