Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf dead at 78

Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf deadRetired Gen H. Norman Schwarzkopf, died at 78-years-old. He was a United States Army general who, while he served as Commander of U.S. Central Command, was commander of coalition forces in the Persian Gulf War. He was born in August 22, 1934 in Trenton, New Jersey. His father served in the US Army before becoming the Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, where he worked as a lead investigator on the infamous Lindbergh kidnapping before returning to an Army career and rising to the rank of Major General. After attending Valley Forge Military Academy, Schwarzkopf, an army brat, attended the United States Military Academy, where he graduated 43rd in his class in 1956 with a Bachelor of Science degree. His special field of study was guided missile engineering, a program that USC developed with the Army, which incorporated both aeronautical and mechanical training. He later attended the U.S. Army War College as well.

Upon graduating from West Point he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant. He received advanced infantry and airborne training at Fort Benning, Georgia. He was a platoon leader and served as executive officer of the 2nd Airborne Battle Group, 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Next he was aide-de-camp to the Berlin Brigade in 1960 and 1961, a crucial time in the history of that divided city (the Berlin Wall was erected by East German and Soviet forces only a week after he left). In 1965, after completing his masters degree at USC, Schwarzkopf served at West Point as an instructor in the mechanical engineering department.

In 1965, following Schwarzkopf’s first year as a member of the faculty at West Point, he applied to join them. Schwarzkopf served as a task force adviser to the South Vietnamese Airborne Division; during that time he was promoted from Captain to Major. In Vietnam in March 1970, Schwarzkopf was involved in rescuing men of his battalion from a minefield.

In 1988, he was promoted to General and was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Central Command. The U.S. Central Command, based at MacDill Air Force Base, in Tampa, Florida, was responsible at the time for operations in theHorn of Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.

After the war, Schwarzkopf was offered the position of Chief of Staff of the United States Army by Secretary of the Army Michael P.W. Stone, but he declined.

Schwarzkopf was a cousin of actress Marianna Hill. He was married since 1968 and had three children. He was also a member of Mensa

Madonna paid a special tribute to General Schwarzkopf during the 1990 Oscars ceremony on March 25, 1991 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles California. According to his autobiography he was awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal as well as the Distinguished Service Medals for the Army (4th award), Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard at his retirement ceremony.

• “As far as Saddam Hussein being a great military strategist, he is neither a strategist, nor is he schooled in the operational arts, nor is he a tactician, nor is he a general, nor is he a soldier. Other than that, he’s a great military man, I want you to know that.”
• “The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.”
The official tells The Associated Press that Schwarzkopf died Thursday in Tampa, Fla. The official wasn’t authorized to release the information publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. He lived in retirement in Tampa where he had served in his last military assignment as commander-in-chief of U.S. Central Command.

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