Town hall

Then-Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno, left, greets soldiers before a town hall at Fort Hood in April 2015.

A former III Corps and Fort Hood commander with long ties to the post died of cancer on Friday.

Retired Gen. Raymond T. Odierno commanded Fort Hood from 2006 to 2008 and served as the 38th Chief of Staff of the Army. Odierno also commanded the 4th Infantry Division during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, when the division was still based out of Fort Hood, and oversaw the capture of Saddam Hussein.

Odierno retired from the Army’s top position in 2015 after a 39-year career. He was 67 at the time of his death.

“Great man, great soldier and a great general. He served us well in Iraq and was very much involved in the surge,” said retired Lt. Gen. Pete Taylor, a former III Corps and Fort Hood commander who lives near Harker Heights. “I got to know him pretty well during his time here.

“He was very mission oriented. I wasn’t around him a lot, but everything I heard about him working with soldiers was very positive. He took care of his soldiers, because he knew how to train them and how to take them to war.”

In a 2015 interview with the Herald, retired Lt. Gen. Paul “Butch” Funk, a former III Corps and Fort Hood commander living near Gatesville, described Odierno as a “selfless” commander.

“He cares about his people, but he’s very tough-minded and smart,” Funk said. “He’s a terrific soldier, and he and his wife both have done a great job for our Army.”

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a statement Saturday that Odierno was known for his loyalty to the mission and his troops.

“The United States Army, indeed our nation, is stronger for his dedication, professionalism, and leadership,” Austin said. “I know that I am a better person for having had his friendship.”

Odierno is survived by his wife Linda, sons Tony and Mike, and daughter Katie. Funeral service and interment are pending.

dbryant@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7554

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