David M. Rodriguez

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David M. Rodriguez
General David M Rodriguez USAFRICOM.jpg
Rodriguez in April 2013
Nickname(s) "Rod"
Born (1954-05-23) 23 May 1954 (age 64)
Overbrook, Pennsylvania, U.S
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1976–present
Rank Army-USA-OF-09.svg General
Commands held U.S. Africa Command
U.S. Army Forces Command
82nd Airborne Division
International Security Assistance Force Joint Command
U.S. Forces – Afghanistan
Battles/wars Invasion of Panama
Persian Gulf War
Iraq War
War in Afghanistan
Mali War (2013)
Awards Defense Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Army Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit (5)
Bronze Star Medal (2)

David M. "Rod" Rodriguez (born 23 May 1954) is a United States Army officer who currently serves as the Commander of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM).

Previously, Rodriguez served as the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Forces Command from 12 September 2011 until 15 March 2013. He has also served as Commander, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command (IJC) and Deputy Commander, U.S. Forces – Afghanistan (USFOR-A) from 12 November 2009 to 11 July 2011.[1] Approved by the U.S. Senate on 5 March 2013, to take over AFRICOM from General Carter F. Ham, Rodriguez assumed command on 5 April 2013.[2]

Early life and education

Born in Overbrook, Pennsylvania from a Latin American family in 1954[3] and raised in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Rodriguez earned his commission from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York in 1976.[4] He was recruited by Tom Cahill to play for the Army Black Knights football team and earned varsity letters in football and baseball.[5]


Rodriguez has commanded at every level across the United States Army. His previous assignment was as the Commanding General of the United States Army Forces Command. Additionally, Rodriguez commanded the International Security Assistance Force – Joint Command (IJC) in Afghanistan; the 82nd Airborne Division; 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division; and 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). He also commanded companies of the 75th Ranger Regiment, and 1st Armored Division.[4]

Rodriguez’s extensive combat experiences include: G-3 Planner, XVIII Airborne Corps, Operation Just Cause, 1989 – 1990; Operations Officer, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Desert Shield/Desert Storm, 1990 – 1991; Assistant Division Commander, 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized), 2002 – 2003; Commander, Multi-National Division-Northwest, 2005; Special Assistant to the Commander, Multi-National Corps-Iraq, 2006; Commander, Joint Task Force-82 in Afghanistan, 2007 – 2008; and Deputy Commander, United States Forces Afghanistan and Commander, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command.[4]

Rodriguez holds a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College and a Masters of Military Art and Science from the United States Army Command and General Staff College.[4]

On 11 November 2011, Rodriguez received the Abraham Lincoln Award during a Veterans Day celebration at The Union League of Philadelphia. Union Leagues were founded during the Civil War to support President Abraham Lincoln and the preservation of the Union; Philadelphia's, established in 1862, was the first. First presented to Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, the award, which recognizes patriotism and service to country, has been bestowed on many distinguished civilian and military leaders, including former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan; U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Gen. David H. Petraeus and current Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, Gen. Raymond T. Odierno.[6]

Dates of rank

U.S. Military Academy COA.png United States Military Academy class of 1976

Second lieutenant First lieutenant Captain Major Lieutenant colonel
O-1 O-2 O-3 O-4 O-5
US Army O1 shoulderboard rotated.svg US Army O2 shoulderboard rotated.svg US Army O3 shoulderboard rotated.svg US Army O4 shoulderboard rotated.svg US Army O5 shoulderboard rotated.svg
2 June 1976 2 June 1978 1 August 1980 1 September 1987 1 April 1993

Colonel Brigadier general Major general Lieutenant general General
O-6 O-7 O-8 O-9 O-10
US Army O6 shoulderboard rotated.svg US Army O7 shoulderboard rotated.svg US Army O8 shoulderboard rotated.svg US Army O9 shoulderboard rotated.svg Army-USA-OF-09.svg
1 August 1997 1 March 2002 15 July 2005 29 July 2008 15 August 2011

[7] [8]

Awards and decorations

Rodriguez' military decorations include:[4]

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with bronze oak leaf cluster)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Distinguished Service Medal (with bronze oak leaf cluster)
Defense Superior Service Medal
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Legion of Merit (with four bronze oak leaf clusters)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze Star Medal (with oak leaf cluster)
Defense Meritorious Service ribbon.svg Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Meritorious Service Medal (with four oak leaf clusters)
Joint Service Commendation ribbon.svg Joint Service Commendation Medal
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Army Commendation Medal (with two oak leaf clusters)
Us jointservachiev rib.svg Joint Service Achievement Medal
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Unit Commendation (with oak leaf cluster)
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal (with one bronze service star)
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Bronze star
Southwest Asia Service Medal (with service star)
Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png Afghanistan Campaign Medal (with three service stars)
Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png Iraq Campaign Medal (with two service stars)
Bronze star
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal with service star
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korea Defense Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Award numeral 5.png Army Overseas Service Ribbon (with bronze award numeral "5")
NATO Medal Yugoslavia ribbon bar.svg NATO Medal for Former Yugoslavia
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

See also


  1. "Lt. Gen. Rodriguez: What is the ISAF Joint Command". nato.int
  2. "Rodriguez Succeeds Ham as Africom Commander". Defense.gov. 12 March 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 "General David M. Rodriguez, Commander". United States Africa Command. Retrieved 5 April 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "MISSION FIRST: Sense Of Duty". goarmysports.com. 19 December 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Jim Hinnant, FORSCOM Public Affairs Officer (11 November 2011). "Rodriguez receives historic award, celebrates veterans in return to home area". U.S Army. Retrieved 31 December 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Official biography<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Sgt. Marcus Gable, 49th Public Affairs Detachment (12 September 2011). "GEN Rodriguez takes command with promotion". U.S Army. Retrieved 1 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>