CENTCOM’s Abizaid Plans Spring Retirement
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 20, 2006 Gen. John Abizaid, commander of U.S. Central Command, plans to retire from the Army in the spring, he said during a Baghdad press conference today.
Abizaid serves as the combatant commander in charge of operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa.
“As far as retirement news, it isn’t a surprise that the spring of 2007 is the target date for when I would retire,” he said. “(It’s) certainly not considered precipitous by the Abizaid family.”
Abizaid has served as commander since July 2003. Before that, he was the deputy commander. “After 50 months out here, I think it’s okay to think about retiring,” he said.
Abizaid said his decision “has nothing to do with dissatisfaction.”
The general submitted his retirement paperwork, but Defense Secretary Robert Gates and President Bush must approve the request, Army officials said.
Abizaid has served in the Army since receiving his commission from the U.S. Military Academy in 1973. Originally from California, Abizaid commanded a Ranger Company during the invasion of Grenada in 1983. He also commanded an airborne battalion during the Persian Gulf War and a brigade of the 1st Armored Division in Bosnia.