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Eric Ken Shinseki


Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 21, 2009[1]
President Barack Obama
Preceded by James Peake

In office
June 21, 1999 – June 11, 2003
Preceded by Dennis Reimer
Succeeded by Peter Schoomaker

In office
1998–1999
Preceded by William W. Crouch
Succeeded by John M. Keane

Born November 28, 1942 (1942-11-28) (age 67)
Lihue, Territory of Hawaii
Alma mater U.S. Military Academy (B.S.)
Duke University (M.A.)
Profession Soldier
Cabinet Secretary
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1965 – 2003
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands Army Chief of Staff
1st Cavalry Division
3rd Infantry Division
Seventh United States Army
Allied Land Forces Central Europe (General)
NATO Stabilization Force in Bosnia-Herzegovina
9th Infantry Division
25th Infantry Division
3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment
5th Cavalry Regiment
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Bosnian War
Awards United States Military Academy Distinguished Graduate Award
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star (3)
Purple Heart (2)
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal
Army Commendation Medal (2)

Eric Ken Shinseki (pronounced /ʃɨnˈsɛki/; born November 28, 1942) is a retired United States Army four-star general who is currently serving as the 7th United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs. His final U.S. Army post was as the 34th Chief of Staff of the Army (1999-2003). He is a veteran of combat in Vietnam, having been left with a maimed foot. During his tenure as Army Chief of Staff, Shinseki initiated an innovative but controversial plan to make the Army more strategically deployable and mobile in urban terrain by creating Stryker Interim-Force Brigade Combat Teams. He conceived a long term strategic plan for the Army dubbed Objective Force, which included a program he designed, Future Combat Systems.

On December 7, 2008, then-President-elect Barack Obama announced at a Chicago press conference that once in office, he would nominate Shinseki to become the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.[2] He was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate on January 20, 2009 and sworn in the next day.[1][3]

Contents

Education and military service

Shinseki at West Point in 1965

Shinseki was born in Lihue, Kauai in the then Territory of Hawaii, to a Japanese American family. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1965 with a Bachelor of Science degree and a commission as a second lieutenant. He earned a Master of Arts degree in English Literature from Duke University. He was also educated at the Armor Officer Advanced Course, the United States Army Command and General Staff College, and the National War College.

Shinseki served in a variety of command and staff assignments in the Continental United States and overseas, including two combat tours with the 9th and 25th Infantry Divisions in the Republic of Vietnam as an artillery forward observer and as commander of Troop A, 3rd Squadron, 5th Cavalry Regiment. During one of those tours, he stepped on a land mine, which blew the front off one of his feet.

He has served at Schofield Barracks, Hawai'i with Headquarters, United States Army Hawaii, and Fort Shafter with Headquarters, United States Army Pacific. He has taught at the U.S. Military Academy’s Department of English. During duty with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Bliss, Texas, he served as the regimental adjutant and as the executive officer of its 1st Squadron.

Shinseki’s ten-plus years of service in Europe included assignments as Commander, 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry, 3rd Infantry Division (Schweinfurt); Commander, 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division (Kitzingen); Assistant Chief of Staff, G3, 3rd Infantry Division (Operations, Plans and Training) (Würzburg); and Assistant Division Commander for Maneuver, 3rd Infantry Division (Schweinfurt). The 3rd ID was organized at that time as a heavy mechanized division. He also served as Assistant Chief of Staff, G3 (Operations, Plans and Training), VII Corps (Stuttgart). Shinseki served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Support, Allied Land Forces Southern Europe (Verona), an element of the Allied Command Europe.

Official portrait as Chief of Staff of the Army
Official painting portrait of General Eric Shinseki

From March 1994 to July 1995, Shinseki commanded the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas. In July 1996, he was promoted to lieutenant general and became Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, United States Army. In June 1997, Shinseki was appointed to the rank of general before assuming duties as Commanding General, Seventh United States Army; Commander, Allied Land Forces Central Europe; and Commander, NATO Stabilization Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Shinseki became the Army's 28th Vice Chief of Staff on 24 November 1998, then became its 34th Chief of Staff on 22 June 1999.[4] Shinseki retired on 11 June 2003 at the end of his four-year term. His Farewell Memo contained some of his ideas regarding the future of the military.[5] At that time, General Shinseki retired from the Army after 38 years of military service. Shinseki is the only Japanese American (or Asian American, more generally) to be promoted to the Army's top position and is the first four star general of Asian descent in the US military.

Shinseki publicly clashed with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld during the planning of the war in Iraq over how many troops the U.S. would need to keep in Iraq for the postwar occupation of that country. As Army Chief of Staff, General Shinseki testified to the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee that "something in the order of several hundred thousand soldiers" would probably be required for postwar Iraq. This was an estimate far higher than the figure being proposed by Secretary Rumsfeld in his invasion plan, and it was rejected in strong language by both Rumsfeld and his Deputy Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz, who was another chief planner of the invasion and occupation.[6] From then on, Shinseki's influence on the Joint Chiefs of Staff reportedly waned.[7]

When the insurgency took hold in postwar Iraq, Shinseki's comments and their public rejection by the civilian leadership were often cited by those who felt the Bush administration deployed too few troops to Iraq.[8] On November 15, 2006, in testimony before Congress, CENTCOM Commander Gen. John Abizaid said that General Shinseki had been correct that more troops were needed.[8]

Postmilitary career

Shinseki has served as a director for several corporations: Honeywell International and Ducommun, military contractors; Grove Farm Corporation; First Hawaiian Bank;[9] and Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.[10] He is a member of the Advisory Boards at the Center for Public Leadership, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and to the U.S. Comptroller General. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Atlantic Council of the United States, and the Association of the United States Army.[11]

Awards, Decorations and Badges[1]

Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster)
V
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze Star (with "V" Device and two Oak Leaf Clusters)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Purple Heart (with Oak Leaf Cluster)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters)
Defense Meritorious Service ribbon.svg Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal ribbon.svg Air Medal
USA Parachutist.png Parachutist Badge
RangerTab TIoH.gif Ranger Tab
Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
GeneralStaffID.gif Army Staff Identification Badge

Notes

  1. ^ a b c "VA Official Biography - The Honorable Eric K. Shinseki". United States Department of Veterans Affairs. January 2009. http://www1.va.gov/opa/bios/biography.asp?id=76. Retrieved 2009-02-08. 
  2. ^ "Obama: No one 'more qualified' than Shinseki to head VA". CNN. December 7, 2008. http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/12/07/obama.shinseki/. Retrieved December 7, 2008. 
  3. ^ Abrams, Jim (2009-01-20). "Senate confirms 6 cabinet secretaries". Associated Press (Google News). http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hi6r-WMKkf2LwqPLQN0PhNMabNmgD95R59EG0. Retrieved 2009-02-08. 
  4. ^ Fahrig, Jody T. (23 June 1999). "Army welcomes Shinseki as new chief". Army News Service. http://www4.army.mil/ocpa/read.php?story_id_key=4731. Retrieved 2006-05-27. 
  5. ^ Shinseki, Eric K (2003-06-10). "End of Tour Memorandum" (PDF). The Washington Post Company. http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/opinions/documents/shinseki.pdf. Retrieved 2008-12-07. 
  6. ^ Schmitt, Eric. "Pentagon Contradicts General on Iraq Occupation Force's Size", New York Times, February 28, 2003.
  7. ^ Shanker, Thom "New Strategy Vindicates Ex-Army Chief Shinseki", The New York Times, January 12, 2007.
  8. ^ a b Ricks, Thomas E.; Ann Scott Tyson (November 16, 2006). "Abizaid Says Withdrawal Would Mean More Unrest". Washington Post: p. A22. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/15/AR2006111500800.html. Retrieved 2006-12-13. "General [Eric] Shinseki was right that a greater international force contribution, U.S. force contribution and Iraqi force contribution should have been available immediately after major combat operations." 
  9. ^ Rucker, Philip; Thomas E. Ricks (December 6, 2008). "Shinseki Slated to Head VA, Obama Confirms". Washington Post. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/12/06/shinseki_slated_to_head_va_dem.html?hpid=topnews. Retrieved 2008-12-07. 
  10. ^ "Shinseki biography". http://people.forbes.com/profile/eric-k-shinseki/41426. Retrieved 2008-12-07. 
  11. ^ "The Purpose Prize: Shinseki". http://www.purposeprize.org/judges/shinseki.cfm. Retrieved December 7, 2008. 

See also

References

  • VA Official Biography
  • Official U.S. Army biography, in Bell, William Gardner. COMMANDING GENERALS AND CHIEFS OF STAFF 1775-2005: Portraits & Biographical Sketches of the United States Army's Senior Officer, Center of Military History, United States Army, 2005. (ISBN 0-16-072376-0)

Further reading

  • Siemieniec, Jack. "Chief of Staff expands on Army Vision", ARNEWS, January 31, 2000. (URL retrieved May 27, 2006)
  • Dickey, Connie. "Chief of Staff shares his concerns for the soldier and the Army"], ARNEWS, June 28, 1999. From media interview 3 days after becoming Army Chief of Staff. (URL retrieved May 27, 2006)

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
James Peake
United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Served under: Barack Obama

2009 – present
Incumbent
Military offices
Preceded by
Dennis Reimer
Chief of Staff of the United States Army
1999 – 2003
Succeeded by
Peter Schoomaker
Preceded by
William Crouch
Commanding General of U.S. Army Europe
1997 – 1998
Succeeded by
Montgomery Meigs
United States order of precedence
Preceded by
Arne Duncan
Secretary of Education
United States order of precedence
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Succeeded by
Janet Napolitano
Secretary of Homeland Security
United States presidential line of succession
Preceded by
Arne Duncan
Secretary of Education
17th in line
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Succeeded by
Janet Napolitano
Secretary of Homeland Security
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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

If you dislike change, you're going to dislike irrelevance even more.

Eric Ken Shinseki (エリック・シンセキ) (born November 28, 1942) is the 7th United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs. He was the 34th Chief of Staff of the United States Army, 1999-2003.

Contents

Sourced

  • If you dislike change, you're going to dislike irrelevance even more.
    • Quoted in Mackubin Thomas Owens, "Marines Turned Soldiers", National Review Online, December 10, 2001
  • It has been very humbling and gratifying to have these men as our role models... Your generation enabled America to close out the twentieth century as the greatest nation in the history of mankind, the only remaining superpower, the world's leading economy and the world's most respected and feared military force in the world- respected by our friends and allies, feared by our adversaries.
    • About the Medal of Honor awardees. Quoted in "Rising Sons" - Page 260 - by Bill Yenne - History - 2007
  • You must love those you lead before you can be an effective leader. You can certainly command without that sense of commitment, but you cannot lead without it.
    • Quoted in "Forever Young: Ten Gifts of Faith for the Graduate" - Page 156 - by Pat Williams, Karen Kingsbury - Religion - 2005

Quotes about Shinseki

Unsourced

  • I would say that what's been mobilized to this point — something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers are probably, you know, a figure that would be required. We're talking about post-hostilities control over a piece of geography that's fairly significant, with the kinds of ethnic tensions that could lead to other problems. And so it takes a significant ground- force presence to maintain a safe and secure environment, to ensure that people are fed, that water is distributed, all the normal responsibilities that go along with administering a situation like this.

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

Eric Ken Shinseki
File:Eric Shinseki official Veterans Affairs


Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 21, 2009[1]
President Barack Obama
Preceded by James Peake

Born November 28, 1942 (1942-11-28) (age 68)
Lihue, Territory of Hawaii
Alma mater United States Military Academy
Duke University
United States Army Command and General Staff College
National War College
Profession Soldier, Cabinet Secretary
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1965 – 2003
Rank General
Commands Army Chief of Staff
1st Cavalry Division
3rd Infantry Division
Seventh United States Army
Allied Land Forces Central Europe (General)
NATO Stabilization Force in Bosnia-Herzegovina
9th Infantry Division
25th Infantry Division
3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment
5th Cavalry Regiment
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Bosnian War
Awards United States Military Academy Distinguished Graduate Award
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star (3)
Purple Heart (2)
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal
Army Commendation Medal (2)

Eric Ken Shinseki (born November 28, 1942) is a retired United States Army four-star general who is serving as the 7th United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs. His last U.S. Army position was as the 34th Chief of Staff of the Army (1999-2003).

References

  1. "VA Official Biography - The Honorable Eric K. Shinseki". United States Department of Veterans Affairs. January 2009. http://www1.va.gov/opa/bios/biography.asp?id=76. Retrieved 2009-02-08. 
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