Schwarzkopf’s Death: The Loss of an American Original

Retired Army Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, who led coalition troops liberating Kuwait from Iraqi forces during the 1991 Gulf War, died in Tampa, Fla., on Dec. 27 due to complications from pneumonia. He was 78. Schwarzkopf “stood tall for the country and Army he loved,” and with his death, “we’ve lost an American original,” said President Obama in a statement that same day. Born on Aug. 22, 1934, in Trenton, N.J., Schwarzkopf graduated from West Point in 1956, according to his Associated Press obituary (via USA Today). He served two combat tours during the Vietnam War, receiving three Silver Star Medals for his bravery. Schwarzkopf headed US Central Command when Saddam Hussein’s Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. He commanded coalition forces during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm that culminated in a 100-hour ground war that freed Kuwait in February 1991 after a five-week air campaign. Schwarzkopf, nicknamed “Stormin’ Norman” by his troops, retired from the Army in August 1991 after some 35 years in uniform. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a statement Schwarzkopf “left an indelible imprint on the United States military and on the country.” Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, Joint Chiefs Chairman, in a Facebook posting, called Schwarzkopf “one of the 20th century’s finest soldiers and leaders,” who “embodied the warrior spirit.” (Army News Service report by C. Todd Lopez)

For more on Schwarzkopf, see these articles from Air Force Magazine’s archives:

Schwarzkopf of Arabia

The Strategy of Desert Storm

Desert Shield

Desert Storm

The Gulf War: A Chronology