Stanley A McChrystal Biography
Sun Sign: Leo
Also Known As: Stanley Allen McChrystal
Born Country: United States
Born in: Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, United States
Famous as: Retired Armed Force Officer
Spouse/Ex-: Annie Corcoran (m. 1977)
father: Herbert J. McChrystal
mother: Mary Gardner Bright
U.S. State: Kansas
education: Naval War College, United States Army Infantry School, John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, United States Military Academy, United States Army Command and General Staff College, Salve Regina University, St John's College High School
Stanley A McChrystal is a former ‘United States Army’ general, also known as the founder of the ‘McChrystal Group.’ He is also known for his role in the ‘Joint Special Operations Command’ (JSOC) in the 2000s. He was responsible for the death of ‘Al-Qaeda’ leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. He was also associated with the cover-up of the Pat Tillman friendly fire incident. His open nature and his habit of speaking his mind on topics that people usually avoid helped him in his career but also got him relieved of his command. He is considered an excellent military man and leader. After he made some inappropriate comments on a few administration officials, President Obama decided to accept his resignation as a commander in Afghanistan. A few days later, he announced he was retiring.
- Stanley McChrystal was born on August 14, 1954, into a military family. He has five siblings, all of whom either ventured into military careers or married into military families.
- He attended high school at ‘St. John’s College High School’ in Washington, DC. Following this, he went to the ‘United States Military Academy’ at West Point, New York, and graduated in 1976. Soon after graduation, he was appointed as a second lieutenant in the ‘US Army.’
- His first assignment was as a weapons platoon leader with ‘C Company.’ He then served as a rifle platoon leader and an executive officer until November 1978. Following this, he took the ‘Special Forces Officer Course’ at the ‘Special Forces School,’ Fort Bragg, North Carolina. After completing the course, he was kept there as the commander of ‘Operational Detachment – Alpha 714,’ in ‘A Company,’ ‘1st Battalion,’ ‘7th Special Forces Group’ (Airborne). He continued his military education by attending the ‘Infantry Officer Advanced Course’ at Fort Benning, Georgia.
- His career path took him to South Korea in 1981, where he worked as an intelligence and operations officer for the ‘United Nations Command Support Group – Joint Security Area.’ The following year, he came back to Georgia, this time at Fort Stewart, as a training officer in the ‘Directorate of Plans and Training,’ ‘A Company,’ ‘Headquarters Command.’
- McChrystal never stopped moving forward with his studies. In 1990, he got his master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the ‘Naval War College’ and was assigned to the ‘JSOC.’ It was a task force that integrated many special operation units, such as the ‘Delta Force’ and the ‘Navy SEALs.’ When the Persian Gulf War began in 1991, he was sent to Saudi Arabia to supervise the search for Iraqi mobile ‘Scud’ missile launchers. He did such a great job that he was promoted to the position of lieutenant colonel.
- He spent the next few years in command of the ‘82nd Airborne Division’ and the ‘75th Ranger Regiment’ and became a full colonel in 1996. Around the same time, he went to ‘Harvard’ to study at the ‘John F. Kennedy School of Government’ and took on the ‘warrior-scholar’ ethics. Then, in 1999, he became a military fellow at the ‘Council on Foreign Relations’ and later went back to the ‘82nd Airborne’ to be a brigadier general.
- When the Iraq War began, he was a member of the ‘Joint Staff’ at the ‘Pentagon’ and was even selected to deliver the televised briefings, having the chance to announce to the public that the major conflicts were over after the fall of Baghdad.
- He spent many years with the ‘JSOC,’ where he even earned the nickname “hidden general” and was given his second and third stars. It is believed he is also responsible for making the ‘JSOC’ and the ‘Central Intelligence Agency’ (CIA) work together.
- In February 2008, he was nominated by George W Bush to become the director of the ‘Joint Staff’ after Lieutenant General Walter L Sharp. His confirmation by the senate took longer than expected because some members needed to further investigate the incident concerning the abuse on the detainees.
- In June 2009, McChrystal was put in command of the joint ‘NATO–US’ mission in Afghanistan, probably as an attempt to improve their counterterrorism operation. Soon, he received his fourth star. His strategy included interactions with the Afghan people in order to reduce civilian casualties. However, he lost that position after he and some members of his staff made a few unpleasant comments about top officials in the Obama administration in an interview to a reporter from ‘Rolling Stones’ magazine.
- At that point, he retired from military life. He later founded the ‘McChrystal Group,’ which offers business consulting services.
- His career is outstanding but not free from controversies. The biggest scandal that hit him concerned the friendly-fire death of Pat Tillman. Tillman was a ‘Ranger’ and a former professional football player, who was killed on April 22, 2004, while on patrol in Afghanistan, by three bullets to the head, shot by American weapons. It was McChrystal’s job to prepare the paperwork to award Tillman a ‘Silver Star.’ The problem was that the documents did not mention he had been killed by friendly fire. Additionally, there were false statements in the file. He notified the ‘White House’ not to include the ‘Silver Star’ recommendation in any of the President’s speeches, because if the truth came out, there would be a scandal. Although there was an investigation conducted by the ‘Pentagon’ in that matter, no measures were taken against him.
- Another controversy that plagued him was related to the interrogation methods used by his unit, especially at Camp Nama where, it is believed, the detainees were highly abused. This led to several members of the task force being disciplined.
- All of Stanley McChrystal’s family was in the army. His father was Major General Herbert Joseph McChrystal, his grandfather was a ‘US Army’ colonel, and his older brother is a retired army chaplain.
- Even his wife, Annie Corcoran, was from a military family. They got married in 1977 and have a son. Rumors claim that McChrystal follows a drastic regime designed to keep him fit. It is believed he only sleeps 4 hours a night, runs on a regular basis, and only has one meal a day.
- He wrote his memoirs, ‘My Share of the Task,’ and co-authored ‘Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World’ and ‘Leaders: Myth and Reality.’
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