By Amanda Kim Stairrett

Fort Hood Herald

Maj. Gen. (promotable) Rick Lynch has been nominated to replace Lt. Gen. (promotable) Raymond Odierno, according to information released last week from the Defense Department.

Odierno leads III Corps and Fort Hood, and pending confirmation by the Senate, is set to replace Gen. David Petraeus later this year as the top commander in Iraq, it was announced on April 23.

Lynch is the current commander of Fort Stewart in Georgia and the 3rd Infantry Division. He is set to return soon from a 15-month Iraq deployment — his third, according to information from Fort Stewart public affairs.

The two-star general is no stranger to Fort Hood, said retired Col. Bill Parry, a former Fort Hood garrison commander and executive director of the Heart of Texas Defense Alliance.

“He’s a distinguished officer, friend and certainly very knowledgeable about Fort Hood and Central Texas,” said Perry, who has known Lynch since 1983.

Lynch has served multiple tours at Fort Hood, including several company commands, commander of the 1st Cavalry Division’s 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment from May 1993 to May 1995; commander of the 4th Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team from April 1997 to April 1999; and the 4th Infantry’s assistant division commander for support for several years, leaving in July 2002.

Lynch is married to the former Sarah Cockerham, a Killeen native.

Parry said he looked forward to working with Lynch and assisting him in a continuing relationship between the post and surrounding communities.

Lynch took command of the 3rd Infantry in June 2006 and led the division to Iraq in March 2007. Before that, he was the spokesman and deputy chief of staff for Strategic Effects for Multinational Force-Iraq.

Maj. Gen. Anthony A. Cucolo, the Army’s public affairs chief, was named to take Lynch’s spot at Fort Stewart, according to Associated Press reports.

Fort Hood officials don’t have information about when Lynch would come to replace Odierno, said Maj. Joe Edstrom, a post spokesman. Though it hasn’t been confirmed, Odierno’s move to lead Multinational Force-Iraq could come late this summer or early fall if Petraeus’ move to head of U.S. Central Command is approved, according to a variety of reports.

It was announced in February that Odierno was chosen to replace Gen. Richard Cody as the next Army vice chief of staff, but that changed once Navy Adm. William J. Fallon resigned as U.S. Central Command chief in March, according to an Associated Press report. Cody is set to retire this summer.

Odierno took command of Fort Hood and III Corps in May 2006. He served as commander of Multinational Corps-Iraq and III Corps during a deployment to Iraq from late 2007 to February 2008. He also led the 4th Infantry from October 2001 to June 2004, leading the division in Iraq from March 2003 to April 2004.

Odierno and Lynch are both graduates of the U.S. Military Academy.

Lynch was commissioned as an engineer officer, later transferring to armor.

Lynch also attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, focusing on robotics.

Contact Amanda Kim Stairrett at or call (254) 501-7547.

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