General David M. Rodriguez became the third commander of U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM), headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, on April 5, 2013. U.S. Africa Command is one of six unified geographic combatant commands within the Department of Defense unified command structure.
A native of West Chester, Pennsylvania, General Rodriguez earned his commission from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York in 1976.
General Rodriguez has commanded at every level. His previous assignment was Commanding General of the United States Army Forces Command. Additional commands include: the International Security Assistance Force - Joint Command (IJC) in Afghanistan; the 82nd Airborne Division; 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division; and 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). He commanded companies in 75th Ranger Regiment, and 1st Armored Division.
General Rodriguez’s Army and Joint experiences include: Commander, IJC in Afghanistan; Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense; Commander, Joint Task Force 82 in Afghanistan; Joint Staff Deputy Director, Regional Operations (J3); and Defense Joint Exercise Officer, United Nations Command, United States Forces Korea.
General Rodriguez’s combat experiences include: G-3 Planner, XVIII Airborne Corps, Operation Just Cause, 1989-1990; Operations Officer, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Desert Shield/Desert Storm, 1990-1991; Assistant Division Commander, 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized), 2003; Commander, Multi-National Division-Northwest, 2005; Commander, Joint Task Force-82 in Afghanistan, 2007-2008; and Deputy Commander, United States Forces Afghanistan and Commander, International Security Assistance Force - Joint Command, 2009-2011.
General Rodriguez holds a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College and a Masters of Military Art and Science from the United States Army Command and General Staff College.
General Rodriguez's awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, numerous foreign awards, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, and Ranger Tab.
He is married to the former Virginia E. Flaherty of Red Bank, New Jersey and they have four children; Amy, Melissa, David, and Andrew.