General Odierno favored the speedy deployment of about 20,000 further troops — the surge, because it was known as — to assist quell the insurgency.
The troop reinforcement proposal cut up the navy and was opposed by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. But Vice President Dick Cheney and the nationwide safety adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, backed it, as did Gen. Jack Keane, a former Army vice chief of workers who had the ear of influential White House officers.
By January 2007, President George W. Bush had authorised the troop enhance, fired Mr. Rumsfeld, and tapped Gen. David H. Petraeus as the brand new prime commander in Iraq to hold out the brand new technique, with General Odierno, the No. 2 normal in Iraq, because the plan’s operational chief.
“Ray Odierno — the Big O to his many admirers, and I am among them — was a truly extraordinary leader, soldier, and human being,” General Petraeus stated in an electronic mail on Saturday.
The surge was deemed a hit on the time, because it dramatically diminished the sectarian killings and the war-shocked nation slowly began to stabilize. But navy historians debate the technique’s long-term effectiveness.
General Odierno acquired his fourth star, changing into a full normal, in 2008, the 12 months he changed General Petraeus as chief commander of the multinational pressure in Iraq.
The battle immediately affected General Odierno’s household. His son, Anthony Odierno, a West Point graduate like his father, served as an infantry platoon chief with the First Cavalry Division in Baghdad. His automobile was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade on Aug. 21, 2004, and he misplaced his left arm.