Retired General Norman Schwarzkopf Dies at 78


NS Updating on DS

Retired General Norman Schwarzkopf, best known for his service in Desert Storm, has passed away at the age of 78. Schwarzkopf, would give daily updates on the fighting and progress during Desert Storm.  His nickname was “stormin Norman” due to his apparently short fuse, but he preferred to be called “the bear”, a title bestowed on him by his troops.  He became famous after leading the campaign against the Iraqis following the invasion of Kuwait but he was a much decorated combat soldier in Vietnam.  Schwarzkopf was born in Trenton New Jersey on August 24, 1934.  At the time of his birth, his father, Col. H. Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., was leading the investigation of the Charles Lindbergh kidnap case, which ended with the arrest and execution of German-born carpenter Richard Hauptmann in 1936 for kidnapping and murdering the son of the world-famous aviator.  To this day, there are those who question whether Hauptmann was actually guilty of the crime.  He was also the founder and commander of the New Jersey State Police.  When Schwarzkopf was a teenager he accompanied his father to Iran who went over there to help train the police force and serve as an advisor to the Shah, Reza Pahlavi.  Following in his father’s footsteps he attended West Point and graduated in 1956.  He then went on to obtain a Master’s Degree from the University of Southern California in Engineering.  In 1966 he volunteered for Vietnam and served two tours, first as a U.S. adviser to South Vietnamese paratroops and later as a battalion commander in the U.S. Army’s American Division. According to the NPR, “He earned three Silver Stars for valor — including one for saving troops from a minefield — plus a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and three Distinguished Service Medals.”  In 1988 he was promoted to General and was appointed Commander-In-Chief of the US Central Commander.  According to US.info.gov, Central Command includes the territories of the Middle East, South Asia, and the Horn of Africa.  On January 17, 1991, after a five month buildup referred to as “Desert Shield”, NATO forces began the campaign to liberate Kuwait.  The Iraqis invaded the tiny country, to gain control of the Kuwaiti Oil fields.  The campaign lasted for six weeks and resulted in an Iraqi surrender.  Controversy followed, when President Bush ordered the troops not to enter Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, allowing Saddam Hussein to remain in power.  Schwarzkopf later said he agreed with the decision because the mission was never to oust the Hussein, only to expel the Iraqis from Kuwait and that mission was accomplished.  In hindsight, most would agree that was the incorrect call.  He retired in 1992 and wrote his best-selling autobiography, “It Doesn’t Take A Hero”.  Of his role in the Desert Storm he said, “I like to say I’m not a hero. I was lucky enough to lead a very successful war.”  He is survived by his wife and three children.

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