By Amanda Kim Stairrett

Fort Hood Herald

Gen. Raymond T. Odierno was nominated last week to serve as the next commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Va., according to information from the Defense Department.

Odierno, a former 4th Infantry Division and III Corps commander, leads U.S. Forces-Iraq, a position he assumed in the fall of 2008 from Gen. David Petraeus. U.S. Forces-Iraq was then called Multinational Force-Iraq, and changed in January.

Odierno commanded III Corps from Spring 2006 to Spring 2008, and led the corps to Iraq where it headed Multinational Forces-Iraq.

Odierno and III Corps returned to Fort Hood in early 2008, uncasing its colors Feb. 25 at a ceremony attended by then-Vice President Dick Cheney. The general called the previous 15 months in Iraq "the year in which the Iraqi people chose the forces of good over the forces of evil."

Odierno was nominated for his fourth star and for the position as Army vice chief of staff while still deployed to Iraq. He was slated to take that job in summer of 2008, but was instead selected to replace Petraeus as the top commander in Iraq. That move sent him back to Iraq less than nine months after returning.

Odierno was the right person to take Petraeus' place, U.S. Rep. John Carter said in July 2008 after Odierno handed III Corps and Fort Hood over to Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch. Odierno was the one to implement Petraeus' plan while leading Multinational Corps-Iraq from December 2006 to February 2008, Carter added.

Odierno handed command of Multinational Corps-Iraq over to the Fort Bragg, N.C.-based 18th Airborne Corps on Feb. 14, 2008.

Odierno's replacement as head of U.S. Forces-Iraq is the man who followed him as head of Multinational Force-Iraq in 2008, Lt. Gen. (promotable) Lloyd J. Austin III.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced last week Austin's promotion and new assignment. He is serving as director of The Joint Staff in Washington, D.C.

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