General David Petraeus officially retired after 37 years of service in the Army, most recently as commander of U.S. & NATO forces in Afghanistan. He was nominated by President Obama to be the next CIA Director and starts in that job after Labor Day.
The Defense Department this morning hosted a full retirement ceremony for the four-star general, including remarks by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, and Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn.
Petraeus chose to retire before assuming the CIA post to avoid what some might see as the "militarization" of intelligence, according to the AP. "I have a certain profile in various parts of the world," he told the Pentagon Channel. "And were I to travel there in uniform, it might create some confusion, frankly, as, you know, 'Who is this guy? He's still in uniform. Is he the director of the CIA or is he actually something else?'"
Prior to his 19 months in Afghanistan, Petraeus was the head of U.S. Central Command, and helped oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. During his service he was also posted in Iraq and Bosnia.
Gen. Petraeus graduated from West Point in 1974. He subsequently earned an M.P.A. in 1985 and a Ph.D. in International Relations in 1987 from Princeton University.