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Citadel News Service
18 Feb 2016

Former U.S. commander in Afghanistan to address The Citadel Class of 2016

Gen. Stanley McChrystal to speak during the South Carolina Corps of Cadets’ Commencement

GEN Stanley McChrystal The Citadel

A transformational leader with a remarkable record of achievement, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, will provide the last address The Citadel Class of 2016 hears before heading away from campus and into the world. McChrystal is a retired U.S. Army four-star general and was the commanding general of international and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, as well as the former commander of the military counter-terrorism force, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).

McChrystal is credited with creating a revolution in warfare through a comprehensive counter-terrorism organization that fused intelligence with operations. He was called “one of America’s greatest warriors” by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

McChrystal graduated from West Point in 1976 and joined the infantry. The son of Maj. Gen. Herbert Joseph McChrystal, he began as a platoon commander in the 82nd Airborne Division, earning leadership positions in the Army Special Forces, Army Rangers, 82nd Airborne Division, the XVIII Army Airborne Corps and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. McChrystal is a graduate of the U.S. Naval War College and has completed fellowships at Harvard (1997) and at the Council on Foreign Relations (2000).

TED talk “Listen, learn…then lead,” by Gen. Stanley McChrystal delivered in 2011.

After 9/11, McChrystal spent more than seven years in combat leadership positions. In 2002, he was the chief of staff for military operations in Afghanistan. A year later he was selected to deliver the nationally-televised Pentagon briefings about military operations in Iraq. From 2003 to 2008, McChrystal commanded JSOC, leading the U.S. military’s global counter-terrorism efforts. From 2008 to 2009, McChrystal was the director of the Joint Staff. In 2009, President Barack Obama and the Secretary General of NATO appointed McChrystal to be the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, a command that included more than 150,000 troops from 46 allied countries.

In August of 2010, McChrystal retired from active duty following a controversial Rolling Stone magazine article; a career curveball that he has written about and discussed often when speaking to the public.

McChrystal is now a senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs where he teaches a course on Leadership in Operation. He sits on the boards of the Yellow Ribbon Fund, Navistar International Corporation and JetBlue Airways. He is also the chairman of the Aspen Institute’s Franklin Project and the Service Year Alliance. McChrystal co-founded the McChrystal Group in 2011, where he is currently a partner. McChrystal lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife of 39 years, Annie.

The South Carolina Corps of Cadets’ 2016 Commencement will take place at 9 a.m., Saturday, May 7, at McAlister Field House. The central speaker for The Citadel Graduate College commencement ceremony on the same day will be announced at a later date. The graduate college ceremony begins at 3:30 p.m., also at McAlister Field House. The full schedule of CGC events is here.

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