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James G. Stavridis
Admiral James G. Stavridis, U.S. Navy
Birth name James George Stavridis
Nickname Zorba[1]
Born February 15, 1955(1955-02-15) (age 67)
Place of birth West Palm Beach, Florida[2]
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1976-2013
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg Admiral
Commands held U.S. European Command
Supreme Allied Commander Europe
U.S. Southern Command
Awards Defense Distinguished Service ribbon.svg Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Navy Distinguished Service ribbon.svg Navy Distinguished Service Medal
US Defense Superior Service Medal ribbon.svg Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit ribbon.svg Legion of Merit

James George Stavridis, PhD (born 15 February 1955)[3] is a retired United States Navy admiral who served as the 15th Commander, U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and NATO's 16th Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). Stavridis is the first Navy officer to have held these positions. Previously, he served as Commander, U.S. Southern Command from 19 October 2006, to 25 June 2009. He served as COMEUCOM and SACEUR from 30 June 2009 (USEUCOM) and 2 July 2009 (SACEUR) respectively, to 10 May 2013 and 13 May 2013, respectively.[4][5] On 6 May 2013, ADM Stavridis was named as the 12th Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University,[6] a position he took up on July 1, 2013.[7] In addition, he became chairman of the Board of the U.S. Naval Institute in July 2013.[8][9]

Personal history

Stavridis was born in West Palm Beach, Florida, the son of Shirley (née Schaffer) and P. George Stavridis.[10][11][12] He is married to Laura Hall, author of Navy Spouses Guide. His paternal grandparents were ethnic Greeks born and raised in what is now Turkey, who emigrated to the United States.[13]

His 2008 book, Destroyer Captain: Lessons of a First Command, goes into more detail about his Greek refugee origins. "In the early 1920's," he wrote, "my grandfather, a short, stocky Greek schoolteacher named Dimitrios Stavridis, was expelled from Turkey as part of 'ethnic cleansing' (read pogrom) directed against Greeks living in the remains of the Ottoman Empire. He barely escaped with his life in a small boat crossing the Aegean Sea to Athens and thence to Ellis Island. His brother was not so lucky and was killed by the Turks as part of the violence directed at the Greek minority."

A NATO exercise off the coast of modern Turkey was the "most amazing historical irony [he] could imagine," and prompted Stavridis to write of his grandfather: "His grandson, who speaks barely a few words of Greek, returns in command of a billion-dollar destroyer to the very city - Smyrna, now called İzmir - from which he sailed in a refugee craft all those years ago."[14]


Stavridis is a 1976 distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a native of South Florida, USA. He is a career surface warfare officer and served at sea in carriers, cruisers, and destroyers. After serving with distinction as Operations Officer on the newly commissioned USS Valley Forge, Stavridis commanded destroyer USS Barry from 1993 to 1995, completing deployments to Haiti, Bosnia, and the Persian Gulf. Barry won the Battenberg Cup as the top ship in the Atlantic Fleet under his command. In 1998, he commanded Destroyer Squadron 21 and deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1998, winning the Navy League's John Paul Jones Award for Inspirational Leadership. From 2002 to 2004, Stavridis commanded Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, conducting combat operations in the Persian Gulf in support of both the successful Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Afterwards, Vice Admiral Stavridis served as senior military assistant to the United States Secretary of Defense. On October 19, 2006, he became the first navy commander of U.S. Southern Command in Miami, Florida. In July, 2009, he became Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR).[15]

Ashore, he served as a strategic and long range planner on the staffs of the United States Chief of Naval Operations and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States. At the start of the "Global War on Terror", he was selected as the director of the Navy Operations Group, Deep Blue, USA. He has also served as the executive assistant to the Secretary of the Navy and the senior military assistant to the United States Secretary of Defense.

Stavridis earned a PhD and Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in International Relations in 1984, where he won the Gullion Prize as outstanding student. He has been appointed Dean of The Fletcher School, to begin his term July 1, 2013. He is also a 1992 distinguished graduate of the United States National War College. In 2003, He was honored with the Naval War College Distinguished Graduate Leadership Award. He frequently publishes his thoughts, opinions and analyses in myriad publications, including the Western Hemisphere policy publication Americas Quarterly and the United States Naval Institute's blog.

Awards and decorations

U.S. Army General David H. Petraeus, right, with the U.S. Navy Admiral James G. Stavridis, commander of European Command and NATO's supreme allied commander for Europe in Brussels in 2011

U.S. Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Army General John Craddock and U.S. Navy Admiral James G. Stavridis, incoming commander, salute during the national anthem at the U.S. European Command change of command ceremony at Patch Barracks in Stuttgart in June 2009

United States Decorations

USN - Surface Warfare Officer.jpg Surface Warfare Officer badge

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Defense Distinguished Service Medal with 1 bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
US Defense Superior Service Medal ribbon.svg Defense Superior Service Medal
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Legion of Merit with four award stars
Gold star
Gold star
Meritorious Service Medal with 2 award stars
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Navy Commendation Medal with 3 award stars
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement ribbon.svg Navy Achievement Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Joint Meritorious Unit Award with one bronze oak leaf cluster
Navy Unit Commendation ribbon.svg Navy Unit Commendation
Bronze star
Bronze star
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation with 2 bronze service stars
Navy "E" Ribbon w/ Wreathed Battle E device
Navy Expeditionary ribbon.svg Navy Expeditionary Medal
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal with 1 bronze service star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with 2 bronze service stars
Bronze star
Southwest Asia Service Medal with 1 bronze service star
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary ribbon.svg Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service ribbon.svg Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Bronze star
Bronze star
Armed Forces Service Medal with 2 bronze service stars
Silver star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with 1 silver and 2 bronze service stars
Bronze star
Navy & Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon with bronze service star
USN Expert Rifle Ribbon.png Navy Expert Rifleman Medal
USN Expert Pistol Shot Ribbon.png Navy Expert Pistol Shot Medal
International decorations
NATO Meritorious Service Medal bar.svg NATO Meritorious Service Medal
NATO Medal Yugoslavia ribbon bar.svg NATO Medal for Yugoslavia
Legion Honneur Commandeur ribbon.svg Commander's degree, National Order of the Legion of Honour of France[16]
BEL Kroonorde Grootkruis BAR.svg Grand Cross Order of the Crown (Belgium)
GRE Order of the Phoenix - Grand Cross BAR.png Grand Cross Order of the Phoenix (Greece)
EST Order of the Cross of the Eagle 1st Class BAR.png Estonian Order of the Cross of the Eagle First Class[17]
ITA OMRI 2001 GC BAR.svg Order of Merit of the Italian Republic Knight Grand Cross of the Republic
GER Bundesverdienstkreuz 5 GrVK Stern.svg Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany Grand Merit Cross with Star[18]
HUN Order of Merit of the Hungarian Rep (military) 2class BAR.svg The Commander's Cross with Star of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary
POL Order Zaslugi RP kl3 BAR.png Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit (Poland)[19]
Ribbon of the Order of Duke Trpimir.png Order of Duke Trpimir (Croatia)
LTU Order for Merits to Lithuania - Commander's Cross BAR.svg Cross of Commander of the Order for Merits to Lithuania[20]
Order of Naval Merit (Argentina) - ribbon bar.png Order of Naval Merit (Argentina)
Brazil Naval Grand Officer.jpg Order of Naval Merit in the degree of Grand Officer (Brazil)
Legion Honneur Chevalier ribbon.png Cruz de la Victoria (Chile)[21]
COL Gran Cruz Orden del Mérito Naval Almirante Padilla.png Grand Cross The Order of Naval Merit “Admiral Padilla” (Colombia)
PER Orden al Mérito Naval.png Order of the Peruvian Cross of Naval Merit in the rank of Grand Cross along with a White Ribbon (Peru)[22]
Romanian Honor Emblem.png The Emblem of Honor of the General Staff of Romania
LVA Aizsardzības ministra apbalvojums "Atzinības Goda Zīme".png Medal of Honorary Recognition of Latvia[23]
Grand Cross of the Medal of Military Merit ribbon.jpg Military Merit Grand Cross Medal of the Portuguese Republic
Albania gratitude.png Albanian Medal of Gratitude[24]
Noribbon.png Slovenian Medal for multinational cooperation 1st grade
Noribbon.png Grand Cross (Dominican Republic)
Noribbon.png Navy National Defense Cross (Guatemala)
Us sa-kwlib rib.png Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)
Us kw-kwlib rib.png Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
Other Awards and Honors

Business Executives for National Security 2012 Eisenhower Award[25]

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum 2011 Intrepid Freedom Award[26]

AFCEA 2011 David Sarnoff Award[27]

The Order of St. Andrew the Apostle 2011 Athenagoras Human Rights Award[28]

Navy League of the United States 2011 Alfred Theyer Mahan Award for Literary Achievement[29]

JINSA 2011 Henry M. Jackson Distinguished Service Award[30]

Atlantic Council 2011 Distinguished Military Leadership Award[31]

Chian Federation 33rd Annual Homeric Award[32]

Israeli Distinguished Ally Award, May 2013

Published works

Selected books

  • Partnership for the Americas: Western Hemisphere Strategy and U.S. Southern Command,
NDU Press, November 2010
  • Command At Sea, Sixth Edition, Annapolis: U.S. Naval Institute Press,
Co-authored with Rear Admiral Robert Girrier, USN, forthcoming 2010
  • Destroyer Captain: Lessons of a First Command, U.S. Naval Institute Press, 2007
  • Watch Officer’s Guide, Twelfth Edition, Annapolis: U.S. Naval Institute Press,
Co-authored with Captain Robert Girrier, 2006
  • Division Officer’s Guide, Eleventh Edition, Annapolis: U.S. Naval Institute Press,
Co-authored with Commander Robert Girrier, 2005

Selected articles, reviews and commentary

  • Air & Space Power Journal en Español:

“Semi-Sumergibles: Una Amenaza Emergente en las Américas.” Air & Space Power Journal en Español, Volumen XX, No. 2, pp. 3–5, Segundo Trimestre 2008

  • Atlantic Council:

“NATO: A Bridge Across Time,” Freedom's Challenge – Marking the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, December 2009

  • Americas Quarterly:

“The Americas: We’re All in This Together,” Oct 2007 Vol. 1, Issue 2

  • Australian Defence Force Journal:

“Let Us Dare,” Australian Defence Force Journal: Journal of the Australian Profession of Arms, Issue No. 181, 2010, pp. 72–77

  • Foreign Affairs:

"NATO's Success in Libya: The Right Way to Run an Intervention," pp. 2–7, No. 2, Vol 91, March/April 2012 (with Ambassador Ivo H. Daalder)

  • International Herald Tribune:

"NATO Success in Lybia," OPED October 31, 2011 (with Ambassador Ivo H. Daalder) "Afghan Realities," Op-Ed. 25–26 September 2010, p. 9

  • Joint Force Quarterly:

"Sailing the Cyber Sea," pp. 61–67, Issue 65, 2nd quarter 2012
"An Intelligent Theater," pp. 104–108, Issue 56, 1st quarter 2010
“Whatever Happened to the “War on Drugs”? pp. 109–113, Issue 51, 4th Quarter 2008
“Strategic Communication and National Security,” pp. 4–7, Issue 46, 3rd Quarter 2007
“The Second Revolution,” Spring 2003 (Reprinted as one of top articles of previous decades)
“The Second Revolution,” Summer 1997 (First Prize, RMA Essay Contest)

  • Le Journal du Parlement: Politique – Economie – Culture:

Ėditorial. “Un long chemin,” pp. 1–2, Nouvelle Serie Nº 51, Inter-session 2010.

  • Military review:

“Strengthening the Bridge: Building Partnership Capacity,” pp. 2–6, January–February 2010
“Partnership for the Americas: The Human Rights Initiative,” pp. 2–8, May–June 2007
“Roosevelt, Churchill, and the Naval Wars,” Book Review, pp. 92, July 1986
“U Boats Wars,” Book Review, pp. 87–88, July 1985
“Submarine Boats: The Beginnings of Underwater Warfare,” Book Review, pp. 92–93, August 1984
“The Bowfin: The Story of One of America’s Fabled Fleet Submarines in the World War II,” Book Review, pp. 79–80, February 1984

  • Naval history:

“Sea of Gray: The Around the World Cruise of the Confederate Raider Shenandoah,” Book Review, June 2006
“A Dishonorable Few,” Book Review, pp. 70, December 2005
“Cruise of the Sea Eagle,” Book Review, pp. 68–69, October 2005
“Patrick O’Brian: A Life Revealed,” Book Review, pp. 67, October 2000
“Damn the Torpedoes,” Book Review, pp. 50, October 1999

  • Naval Law Review:

“United Nations of the Sea Treaty: Time for a Review?” pp. 78–88, Spring 1992 with Captain George Galdorisi, USN (Ret.)

  • Naval War College Review:

“Taming the Outlaw Sea,” Autumn 2010, Volume 63, Number 4, pp. 72–83
“Perspectivas sobre estrategia marítima,” Introducción: Una Estrategia Marítima en las Américas, Naval War College Press, pp. vii-xi, Winter 2009
“The Heart of an Officer,” Naval War College Review, Volume 62, pp. 26–41, Spring 2009
“Sailing to a New Port,” pp. 7–13, Summer 2007, Volume 60, Number 3
“El Dorado Canyon,” Book Review, pp. 136–138, Winter 2004
“From Annapolis to Scapa Flow,” Book Review, pp. 180–181, Autumn 2003
“Soldiers and Civilians,” Book Review, pp. 175–176, Summer 2002
“A World Explored,” Review Essay, pp. 95–97, Spring 2002
“The Tale of the Red Knight,” pp. 141–147, Autumn 2001
“Seapower: Theory and Practice,” Book Review, pp. 134–136, Winter 1997
“The Nightingale’s Song,” Book Review, pp. 136–137, Spring 1996
“The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery,” Book Review, pp. 113, September–October 1985
“Conway’s All the World’s Fighting Ships,” Book Review, pp. 122–123, May–June 1985
“Vietnam: A History,” Book Review, pp. 138–139, January–February 1985
“The Future of Conflict in the 1980s,” Book Review, pp. 117–118, July–August 1984
“Soviet Policy and Practice toward Third World Conflicts,” Book Review, pp. 104–105, May–June 1984
“The American Style of Foreign Policy,” Book Review,” pp. 121-123, November–December 1983
“Marine Technology Transfer and the Law of the Sea,” pp. 38–50, July–August 1983

  • RUSI Journal:

“NATO Taking a Fix – Charting a Course,” Vol. 154, No. 6, pp. 44–47, December 2009

  • Shipmate:

“Time,” p. 38, An Ocean Away, June 2010
“Semi-submersibles: An Emerging Threat in the Americas,” p. 36, An Ocean Away, May 2008
“Humanitarian Operations: Evolving Missions and New Approaches,” pp. 25–27, January–February 2008

  • Turkish Policy Quarterly:

“The Long Road,” Volume 9 Number 1, pp. 23–29, July 2010

  • U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings:

"Rejoinder to “Punch Them in the Nose…and Then Leave” by CDR John Kuehn," comment and discussion, pp. 8, September 2012"
"Another View," pp. 7, June 2011
"The Death of NATO: A Rebuttal," pp. 6, January 2011
“Teaching the Ropes,” pp. 30–34, May 2010
"Sailing Across the Bridge," pp. 16–20, 1 October 2009
"One Minute to Midnight," book review, pp. 27–73, March 2009,
“Read, Think, Write, and Publish,” pp. 16–19, August 2008
“The Far Reaches,” pp. 81–82, September 2007
“Sailing in Southern Waters: A New Wind,” pp. 16–21, 1 May 2007
“Six Frigates,” Book Review, pp. 83–84, December 2006
“Sea of Thunder,” Book Review, pp. 81–82, November 2006
“Deconstructing War,” pp. 42–45, December 2005
“From Sword to Shield,” pp. 48–51, August 2004
“Adapting Aviation Tactical Training for the Surface Warfare Community,” pp. 36–37, January 2003
“The Tragedy of Great Power Politics,” Book Review, pp. 91–92, July 2002
“Making Room for Risk: Managing Disruptive Techniques,” September 2001
“A Soldier’s Duty,” Book Review, pp. 82–83, August 2001
“Requiem for a Sailor’s Writer,” pp. 130–131, May 2000
“The Got Game,” pp. 51–54, June 1999
“Beyond the Law of the Sea,” Book Review, pp. 116–117, March 1999
“A Perfect Form One,” pp. 45–47, October 1995 (USNI Prize Winner)
“Handling the Arleigh Burkes,” pp. 66–69, October 1994
“Beyond Joint: The Interagency Action,” pp. 94–99, May 1993 “To Begin Again,” pp. 35–39, July 1993
“A Measure of Success,” pp. 80–81, February 1992
“Aegis in the Third World,” pp. 61–64, September 1991
“New Era Tactic,” pp. 76–78, July 1991
“Retreat from Doomsday,” Book Review, pp. 105–106, July 1989
“Antisubmarine Warfare Tactics,” pp. 23–25, April 1989
“Surface Navy Performance,” pp. 28–29, February 1988
“Creating ASW Killing Zones,” pp. 38–42, October 1987
“An Alliance for the Pacific,” pp. 77–80, July 1987
“Supercarrier,” Book Review, pp. 105–106, February 1987
“Handling a Ticonderoga,” pp. 107–110, January 1987
“The Global Maritime Coalition,” pp. 58–64, April 1985
“Resources Wars,” pp. 72–77, January 1985 (USNI Prize Winner)
“Naval Strategy and National Ocean Policy,” pp. 42–47, July 1984
“Politics Awareness Training in the Navy,” pp. 23–24, March 1984
“War, Peace, and Leadership,” pp. 78–80, August 1983 (USNI Prize Winner)
“Closing the Gaps in Naval Leadership,” pp. 76–78, July 1982 (USNI Prize Winner)
“Carrier Commander/On Leading Snipes,” pp. 74–76, January 1981
“Handling a Spruance Class Destroyer,” pp. 125–126, October 1979

  • Miami Herald:

“Region Has Strong Partners,” OPED, June 16, 2009
“Productive Partnerships Make Region Stronger,” OPED, Dec 2, 2008
“What I’ve Learned,” OPED, May 24, 2008
“Ready to help Caribbean neighbors,” OPED with Thomas Shannon, April 3, 2008
“Why We Love Miami,” OPED, September 26, 2007
“Build a True Partnership,” OPED, March 8, 2007

  • USAID Frontiers in Development:

"Combat and Compassion," with Dr. Reuben Brigety, pp. 50–60, Spring, 2012

Washington Post "The Dark Side of Globalization," May 2, 2013, OPED page

Foreign Policy "The New Triad: Time to Found a Cyber Force," on-line, 21 June 2013

On Patrol "NATO 3.0 and an Evolving EUCOM," Summer 2013, pp. 57–59


  1. USNA 1976 Lucky Bag Yearbook
  2. "Nominations of ADM James G. Stavridis, USN, for Reappointment to the Grade of Admiral and to be Commander, U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander, Europe; Lt. Gen. Douglas M. Fraser, USAF, to be General and Commander, U.S. Southern Command; and LTG Stanley A. McChrystal, USA, to be General and Commander, International Security Assistance Force and Commander, U.S. Forces, Afghanistan". NOMINATIONS BEFORE THE SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE, FIRST SESSION, 111TH CONGRESS. Government Printing Office. 2 June 2009. p. 793. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  3. "SAE - U.S. Admiral James G. Stavridis appointed NATO Supreme Commander / World Council of Hellenes Abroad". Retrieved 2012-11-27. 
  4. Miles, Donna (June 30, 2009). "Stavridis Assumes Top European Command Post From Craddock". DefenseLink. Retrieved 2009-06-30. 
  5. "NATO Secretary General welcomes new Supreme Allied Commander Europe". 13 May 2013. 
  6. "NATO Commander Admiral James Stavridis Named Next Fletcher Dean". Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  7. "NATO Commander Admiral James Stavridis Named Next Fletcher Dean". Medford, MA: The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. May 6, 2013. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  8. "Naval Institute Appoints Admiral James G. Stavridis Chair of the Board". 
  9. "Board of Directors". U.S. Naval Institute. Retrieved 8 October 2013. 
  10. "P. George Stavridis". Morning Call. 2001-09-19. Retrieved 2013-07-08. 
  11. "Mrs. Minnie Schaffer". Morning Call. 1985-04-07. Retrieved 2013-07-08. 
  12. Navy Spouse's Guide - Laura Hall Stavridis - Google Books. Retrieved 2013-07-08. 
  13. Shanker, Thom (June 29, 2009). "For a Post in Europe, a Renaissance Admiral". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-30. 
  14. Oren, Amir (October 16, 2009). "U.S. NATO chief blames Turkey for 'ethnic cleansing' of Greeks, including own family". Haaretz. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  15. NATO biography page retrieved in March 2012,
  16. "ACO - Allied Command Operations | French Chief of Defence visits SHAPE". 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2012-11-27. 
  17. "Admiral Stavridis Receives Order of the Cross of the Eagle from Estonia". 
  18. "Germany honors SACEUR Stavridis with medal". 
  19. Postanowienie Prezydenta Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej z dnia 20 kwietnia 2011 r. o nadaniu orderu (M.P. Nr 71, poz. 695)
  20. "The President awards NATO Supreme Allied Commander Admiral James G. Stavridis with the Cross of Commander". Office of the President of the Republic of Lithuania.. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  21. "Ejército de Chile - Noticias". 2008-01-09. Retrieved 2012-11-27. 
  23. "". 2012-07-17. Retrieved 2012-11-27. 
  24. "President Nishani awards the "Medal of Gratitude" to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Admiral Stavridis". 
  25. [1]
  26. "Intrepid Freedom Award". Retrieved 2012-11-27. 
  27. "AFCEA". AFCEA. Retrieved 2012-11-27. 
  28. "Order Of Saint Andrew The Apostle". Retrieved 2012-11-27. 
  30. "The 2011 Henry M. Jackson Distinguished Service Award & Grateful Nation Award Dinner - November 7, Washington DC | JINSA Online". 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2012-11-27. 
  31. "2011 Atlantic Council Annual Awards Dinner: Biden, Stavridis, Kent, Domingo | Atlantic Council". Retrieved 2012-11-27. 
  32. "NEO, October 2012 - Chian Federation to Present Adm. James G. Stavridis with 33rd Annual Homeric Award". Retrieved 2012-11-27. 

External links

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "".

Military offices
Preceded by
GEN Bantz J. Craddock
United States Southern Command
Succeeded by
Gen Douglas M. Fraser
Preceded by
GEN Bantz J. Craddock
U.S. European Command
Succeeded by
Gen Philip M. Breedlove
Preceded by
GEN Bantz J. Craddock
Supreme Allied Commander Europe (NATO)
Succeeded by
Gen Philip M. Breedlove

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