WASHINGTON, DC -- Following the passing of retired four-star General Raymond T. Odierno, 67, a highly decorated West Point graduate who served nearly forty years in the United States Army, including as the 38th Chief of Staff of the Army (2011-2015) and who also earned a graduate degree from the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement:

“Ray Odierno served the Army and the Nation with great distinction.  His courageous and inspired leadership in so many demanding jobs leaves me with great admiration and thanks for his extraordinary service.

“I was privileged to work extensively with Ray Odierno.  He is one of the great commanders of his, or any other, generation of American military leaders.  He was physically tough and intellectually gifted.

“His character, professional skills and abiding love and respect for those he led made him a preeminent soldier.  His steadfast loyalty and commitment to his fellow soldiers and veterans was unwavering. 

“Ray’s love for his country was surpassed only by his love of family -- his wonderful wife, Linda, and their three children, Tony, Katie, and Mike, and their beautiful grandchildren as well.

“The Odierno family’s military tradition runs deep and strong.  Ray’s father was an Army sergeant in World War II and his son, retired Army Captain Tony Odierno, also graduated from West Point.  Tony served with distinction in Iraq before he was wounded there and came home and found other ways to serve.  I know that legacy of service will continue in the Odierno family and manifest itself in many different ways. 

“Ray Odierno was such a powerful, positive, uplifting person.  He dedicated his life’s work to serving others and his was a life well lived.  He will be missed by all who had the privilege to know him and serve with him.”

During his military career, General Odierno earned many awards and decorations, including: five Defense Distinguished Service Medals, three Army Distinguished Service Medals, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, six Legions of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, four Meritorious Service Medals, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Badge.