William H. McRaven

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William H. McRaven
ADM William H. McRaven 2012.jpg
Birth nameWilliam Harry McRaven
Born(1955-11-06) November 6, 1955 (age 58)
Pinehurst, North Carolina, U.S.[1]
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1977–present
RankUS Navy O10 infobox.svg Admiral
Commands heldU.S. Special Operations Command
Joint Special Operations Command
Special Operations Command Europe
Naval Special Warfare Group 1
SEAL Team 3
Battles/wars

Persian Gulf War

Operation Enduring Freedom

Iraq War

Operation Neptune Spear
AwardsDefense Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal (2)
Legion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star Medal (2)
 
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William H. McRaven
ADM William H. McRaven 2012.jpg
Birth nameWilliam Harry McRaven
Born(1955-11-06) November 6, 1955 (age 58)
Pinehurst, North Carolina, U.S.[1]
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1977–present
RankUS Navy O10 infobox.svg Admiral
Commands heldU.S. Special Operations Command
Joint Special Operations Command
Special Operations Command Europe
Naval Special Warfare Group 1
SEAL Team 3
Battles/wars

Persian Gulf War

Operation Enduring Freedom

Iraq War

Operation Neptune Spear
AwardsDefense Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal (2)
Legion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star Medal (2)

William Harry McRaven (born November 6, 1955) is a United States Navy admiral and since August 2011, Commander of the United States Special Operations Command. He previously served from June 13, 2008 to August 2011 as Commander, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC)[2] and from June 2006 to March 2008 as Commander, Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR).[2] In addition to his duties as COMSOCEUR, he was designated as the first director of the NATO Special Operations Forces Coordination Centre (NSCC), where he was charged with enhancing the capabilities and inter-operability of all NATO Special Operations Forces. After retiring from the military, Admiral McRaven is slated to become the next chancellor of the University of Texas from which he graduated in 1977.

Early life and education[edit]

McRaven was born in Pinehurst, North Carolina, and spent most of his formative years in San Antonio, Texas, where he graduated from Roosevelt High School.[3] He is the son of the late Col. Claude "Mac" McRaven, a Spitfire fighter pilot in World War II[4] who played briefly in the NFL.[5] McRaven attended the University of Texas at Austin on a track scholarship, and was a member of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps. He graduated in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in journalism.[6] McRaven holds a master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School, where he helped establish and was the first graduate from the special operations/Low intensity conflict curriculum.

In 2012, McRaven—along with former First Lady Laura Bush, Charles Matthews, Melinda Perrin, Julius Glickman and Hector Ruiz—was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Texas.[7][8]

Career[edit]

Special operations[edit]

McRaven has commanded at every level within the special operations community, including assignments as deputy commander for operations at JSOC, Commodore of Naval Special Warfare Group 1, Commander of SEAL Team 3, task group commander in the CENTCOM area of responsibility, task unit commander during the Persian Gulf War, squadron commander at Naval Special Warfare Development Group, and SEAL platoon commander at Underwater Demolition Team 21/SEAL Team 4.

McRaven's thesis at the Naval Postgraduate School was titled "The Theory of Special Operations".

McRaven has also served as a staff officer with an interagency coordination focus, including as the director for Strategic Planning in the Office of Combating Terrorism on the National Security Council Staff, assessment director at U.S. Special Operations Command, on the Staff of the Chief of Naval Operations and the chief of staff at Naval Special Warfare Group 1.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta affixes Navy Adm. William H. McRaven's new rank as a four-star admiral along with McRaven's wife at a U.S. Special Operations Command ceremony at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Aug. 8, 2011.

On April 6, 2011, McRaven was nominated by President Barack Obama for appointment to the rank of admiral and as the ninth Commander of USSOCOM,[9] of which JSOC is a component. In his confirmation hearings, McRaven "endorsed a steady manpower growth rate of 3% to 5% a year" and favored more resources for USSOCOM, including "additional drones and the construction of new special operations facilities."[10] After the Armed Services committee hearings, in late June, McRaven was confirmed unanimously by the Senate for his promotion to four-star admiral and as commander of USSOCOM[11] and took command August 8. The transfer ceremony was led by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in Tampa, with Admiral Olson also in attendance, two days after the Wardak Province helicopter crash which cost 30 Americans, including 22 SEALs, their lives. With several hundred in attendance, Panetta spoke of sending "a strong message of American resolve [and] ... carry[ing] on the fight."[5]

Operation Neptune Spear[edit]

McRaven is credited for organizing and executing Operation Neptune Spear,[12] the special ops raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011. CIA Director Leon Panetta delegated the raid to McRaven who has worked almost exclusively on counter-terrorism operations and strategy since 2001.[12]

According to the New York Times, "In February, Mr. Panetta called then-Vice Adm. William H. McRaven, commander of the Pentagon's Joint Special Operations Command, to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, to give him details about the compound and to begin planning a military strike. Admiral McRaven, a veteran of the covert world who had written a book on American Special Operations, spent weeks working with the CIA on the operation, and came up with three options: a helicopter assault using U.S. Navy SEALs, a strike with B-2 bombers that would obliterate the compound, or a joint raid with Pakistani intelligence operatives who would be told about the mission hours before the launch."[13] The day before the assault, President Obama "took a break from rehearsing for the White House Correspondents Dinner that night to call Admiral McRaven, to wish him luck."[13] Years later, a June 2013 Freedom of Information request revealed that on May 13, 2011, McRaven sent email titled "OPSEC Guidance / Neptune Spear" that instructed redacted recipients that "all photos [of UBL's remains] should have been turned over to the CIA; if you still have them destroy them immediately" or "get them to" a recipient whose identity was redacted.[14][15]

In December 2011, McRaven was runner-up for Time Person of the Year for his role in the operation.[16]

Retirement[edit]

In June of 2014, it was announced that Admiral McRaven had his request for retirement approved after a 37 year career. [17]

University of Texas Chancellor[edit]

Admiral McRaven is expected to be named the Chancellor of the University of Texas System on July 29, 2014 [18]

Personal life[edit]

Admiral William McRaven is married to Georgeann Brady McRaven.[19] They have three children.[20] McRaven attended the 2012 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner as the guest of his fifth grade classmate, Karen Tumulty.[21]

Awards and decorations[edit]

US Navy SEALs insignia.pngSpecial Warfare insignia
United States Navy Parachutist Badge.pngNaval Parachutist insignia (not worn)
US - Presidential Service Badge.pngPresidential Service Badge
United States Special Operations Command Insignia.svgUnited States Special Operations Command Badge
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Gold star
Legion of Merit with one gold award star
Gold star
Bronze Star Medal with gold award star
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Meritorious Service Medal with three gold award stars
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
Combat Action Ribbon
Bronze star
Bronze star
Navy Unit Commendation with two bronze service stars
Navy "E" Ribbon
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal with bronze service star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Southwest Asia Service Medal with three bronze service stars
Afghanistan Campaign ribbon.svgAfghanistan Campaign Medal
Iraq Campaign ribbon.svgIraq Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary ribbon.svgGlobal War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service ribbon.svgGlobal War on Terrorism Service Medal
Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon
Us sa-kwlib rib.pngKuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)
Us kw-kwlib rib.pngKuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
USN Expert Rifle Ribbon.pngNavy Expert Rifleman Medal
USN Expert Pistol Shot Ribbon.pngNavy Expert Pistol Shot Medal

Bibliography[edit]

In Media[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Navy document "Admiral William H. McRaven".

  1. ^ "Nominations Before the Senate Armed Services Committee, First Session, 112th Congress". Committee on Armed Services. 
  2. ^ a b "Joint Special Operations Command Change of Command" (Press release). USSOCOM. June 13, 2008. Retrieved March 10, 2009. [dead link]
  3. ^ Heath, Christopher (May 3, 2011). "Navy SEAL behind bin Laden mission hails from San Antonio". KENS. Retrieved May 4, 2011. 
  4. ^ Mac McRaven obit, legacy.com
  5. ^ a b Levesque, William R., "SOCom gets new commander in ceremony at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa", St. Petersburg Times, August 9, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
  6. ^ Christian, Carol (May 3, 2011). "Head of unit that killed bin Laden has Texas ties". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved May 4, 2011. 
  7. ^ "The lowdown on higher education". Austin American-Statesman. Cox Media Group. May 8, 2012. Retrieved 2014-02-12. 
  8. ^ "All Hail the Texas Exes’ 2012 Distinguished Alumni". The Alcalde. May 2012. Retrieved 2014-02-12. 
  9. ^ "Flag Officer Announcements". Defense.gov. Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs). April 6, 2011. Retrieved May 4, 2011. 
  10. ^ Turse, Nick, "A Secret War in 120 Countries: The Pentagon's New Power Elite", CounterPunch, August 4, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
  11. ^ Ahearn, Dave, "Editor's Perspective", Special Operations Technology, July (9: 5). Retrieved 2011-08-05.
  12. ^ a b Whitlock, Craig (May 4, 2011). "Osama bin Laden dead: Hamas condemns killing of bin Laden". The Washington Post (London). Retrieved 2011-05-04. 
  13. ^ a b Mazzetti, Mark; Cooper, Helene; Baker, Peter (May 2, 2011). "Clues Gradually Led to the Location of Osama bin Laden p. 2,3". The New York Times. 
  14. ^ "Judicial Watch v. DoD, 13-cv-1343 (JDB)" (PDF). Judicial Watch. January 31, 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-12. 
  15. ^ McConnell, Dugald (February 11, 2014). "Admiral's e-mail on photos of Osama bin Laden's corpse: 'Destroy them'". CNN. Retrieved 2014-02-12. 
  16. ^ Gellman, Barton (December 14, 2011), "William McRaven: The Admiral", Time Magazine 
  17. ^ "McRaven Approved for Retirment". June 2014. 
  18. ^ "UT System Expected to Name New Chancellor on Tuesday". July 2014. 
  19. ^ http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/texan-of-the-year/headlines/20111224-the-full-interview-with-the-2011-texan-of-the-year-bill-mcraven.ece
  20. ^ http://alcalde.texasexes.org/2011/06/the-quiet-professional/
  21. ^ Parker, Kathleen (May 1, 2012). "The unknown celebrity". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  22. ^ William H. McRaven (2014). University of Texas at Austin 2014 Commencement Address. Austin, Texas. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  23. ^ William H. McRaven (23 May 2014). University of Texas at Austin 2014 Commencement Address - Admiral William H. McRaven. Austin, Texas. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  24. ^ Paul Caron, ed. (26 May 2014). "Ten Life Lessons From Navy SEAL Training (transcript)". Retrieved 27 May 2014. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Stanley McChrystal
Commander of Joint Special Operations Command
2008–2011
Succeeded by
Joseph Votel
Preceded by
Eric T. Olson
Commander of United States Special Operations Command
August 8, 2011 – current
Succeeded by
Joseph Votel