Graduation Speaker/Commander, United States Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM)

General Raymond T. Odierno, United States Army, is a proud alumnus of North Carolina State University and commands United States Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM). Headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, USJFCOM provides mission-ready joint-capable forces and supports the development and integration of joint, interagency, and multinational capabilities to meet the present and future operational needs of the joint force.General Odierno most recently served as Commanding General, Multi- National Force - Iraq and subsequently United States Forces - Iraq, from September 2008 until September 2010. He oversaw the transition from the Surge to Stability Operations and directed the largest redeployment of forces and equipment in the last 40 years. During a previous assignment in Iraq, in command of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division during 2003 and 2004, Soldiers from the division captured former President Saddam Hussein. As the day-to-day commander of coalition forces, General Odierno was the operational architect of the Surge and was responsible for implementing the counterinsurgency strategy that led to the dramatic decrease in violence in Iraq in 2007 and 2008. A native of northern New Jersey, General Odierno attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduating in 1976 with a commission in Field Artillery. During more than 34 years of service, he has commanded units at every echelon, from platoon to theater, with duty in Germany, Albania, Kuwait, Iraq, and the United States. General Odierno holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from West Point and a master’s degree in Nuclear Effects Engineering from North Carolina State University. He holds a master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. He is also a graduate of the Army War College. Awards and decorations include three awards of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, two awards of the Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, six awards of the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, four awards of the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Badge. He received the highest award in the State Department, the Secretary of State Distinguished Service Medal, and recently the Romanian President awarded him the Romanian Order of Military Merit. General Odierno is the 2009 recipient of the Naval War College Distinguished Graduate Leadership Award for his strategic leadership and insight.