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Army Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf dies at 78
Army Gen. Norman H. Schwarzkopf consults with then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Colin Powell in a meeting regarding the Allied military coalition in Operation Desert Shield. Schwarzkopf, the commander in chief of U.S. Central Command during Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, died Dec. 27, 2012, at the age of 78. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. H. H. Deffner)
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Gulf War commander dies at 78

Posted 12/28/2012   Updated 12/28/2012 Email story   Print story


by Ray Bowden
Academy Spirit editor

12/28/2012 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Celebrated Army Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, commander of coalition forces that propelled Iraqi forces out of Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, died Dec. 27 in Tampa., Fla., after battling pneumonia. He was 78.

During Operation Desert Storm, Schwarzkopf led a 30-nation coalition force through a crushing attack on Iraq to free Kuwait from Iraqi Occupation. Relying on an asymmetrical strategy that placed forces well behind enemy lines and brought to bear overwhelming air power, the six-week operation decimated Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard and demolished Iraq's infrastructure with comparatively few allied casualties.

Schwarzkopf's Desert Storm strategy also underscored the importance of space power with its extensive reliance on the satellite-based, Air Force-operated Navstar GPS technology used to coordinate its air and ground forces.

"General Schwarzkopf's skilled leadership of that campaign liberated the Kuwaiti people and produced a decisive victory for the allied coalition," said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in a Dec. 27 news release. "In the aftermath of that war, General Schwarzkopf was justly recognized as a brilliant strategist and inspiring leader."

Born the son of a decorated Army officer on Aug. 22, 1934, in Trenton, N.J., Schwarzkopf followed his father's footsteps when he enrolled in the U.S. Military Academy in the 1950s. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam, earning three silver stars for bravery, led the battle in Grenada in 1983 and later served as commander of U.S. Central Command, where he oversaw the allied effort in the first Gulf War.

Schwarzkopf retired from military service soon after the gulf war and lived in Tampa. Primarily known in military circles before the Gulf War, he became one of the nation's most acclaimed military leaders after his decisive victory against Iraqi forces.

Among his numerous national and international honors, Schwarzkopf was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George H.W. Bush and made an honorary knight by Queen Elizabeth II.

In a joint statement released Dec. 28, Secretary of the Army John McHugh and Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno said Schwarzkopf will be forever linked with U.S. history.

"His life story touches on much of the fabric of our nation's story, ensuring his memory will remain with us for generations," their statement said. "Our nation owes a great debt of gratitude to General Schwarzkopf and our soldiers will hold a special place in their hearts for this great leader."

1/2/2013 11:29:05 AM ET
Actually Lt H. Norman Schwarzkopf is correct as the general's legal first name was Herbert.
12/29/2012 10:35:48 AM ET
Sir there is a typo in the lead--his middle initial appears before his first name. Thank you
Lt , Lackland
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