David M. Rodriguez

David M. Rodriguez

David M. Rodriguez
General David M. Rodriguez, USA
Photo While Commander, U.S. Africa Command
Nickname(s) Rod
Born (1954-10-23) 23 October 1954
Overbrook, Pennsylvania, U.S
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1976–present
Rank General
Commands held U.S. Africa Command
U.S. Army Forces Command
82nd Airborne Division
International Security Assistance Force Joint Command
U.S. Forces – Afghanistan
Battles/wars Panama
Gulf War
Iraq War
Afghanistan War
Mali War (2013)
Awards Defense Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Army Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit (5)
Bronze Star Medal (2)

David M. Rodriguez (born 23 May 1954) is a United States Army General who currently serves as the Commander, United States Africa Command (AFRICOM). Previously, he served as the Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command from 12 September 2011 until 15 March 2013. Rodriguez has also served as Commander, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command (IJC) and Deputy Commander, U.S. Forces – Afghanistan (USFOR-A) from 12 November 2009 to 11 July 2011.[1] Approved by the U.S. Senate on 5 March 2013, to take over AFRICOM from General Carter F. Ham, Rodriguez assumed command on 5 April 2013.[2]

Personal life

Born in Overbrook, Pennsylvania in 1954[3] and raised in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Rodriguez earned his commission from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York in 1976.[4] He was recruited by Tom Cahill to play for the Army Black Knights football team and earned varsity letters in football and baseball.[5]


Rodriguez has commanded at every level across the United States Army. His previous assignment was as Commanding General of the United States Army Forces Command. Additionally, Rodriguez commanded the International Security Assistance Force – Joint Command (IJC) in Afghanistan; the 82nd Airborne Division; 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division; and 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). He also commanded companies of the 75th Ranger Regiment, and 1st Armored Division.[4]

Rodriguez’s extensive combat experiences include: G-3 Planner, XVIII Airborne Corps, Operation Just Cause, 1989 – 1990; Operations Officer, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Desert Shield/Desert Storm, 1990 – 1991; Assistant Division Commander, 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized), 2002 – 2003; Commander, Multi-National Division-Northwest, 2005; Special Assistant to the Commander, Multi-National Corps-Iraq, 2006; Commander, Joint Task Force-82 in Afghanistan, 2007 – 2008; and Deputy Commander, United States Forces Afghanistan and Commander, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command.[4]

Rodriguez holds a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College and a Masters of Military Art and Science from the United States Army Command and General Staff College.[4]

Awards and decorations

Rodriguez' military decorations include:[4]

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with bronze oak leaf cluster)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Distinguished Service Medal (with bronze oak leaf cluster)
Defense Superior Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit (with four bronze oak leaf clusters)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze Star Medal (with oak leaf cluster)
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal (with four oak leaf clusters)
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Commendation Medal (with two oak leaf clusters)
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Unit Commendation (with oak leaf cluster)
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal (with one bronze service star)
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Bronze star
Southwest Asia Service Medal (with service star)
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Afghanistan Campaign Medal (with three service stars)
Bronze star
Bronze star
Iraq Campaign Medal (with two service stars)
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korea Defense Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Army Overseas Service Ribbon (with bronze award numeral "5")
NATO Medal for Former Yugoslavia
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

On 11 November 2011, General Rodriguez received the prestigious Abraham Lincoln Award during a Veterans Day celebration at The Union League of Philadelphia. Union Leagues were founded during the Civil War to support President Abraham Lincoln and the preservation of the Union; Philadelphia's, established in 1862, was the first. First presented to Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, the award, which recognizes patriotism and service to country, has been bestowed on many distinguished civilian and military leaders, including former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan; U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Gen. David H. Petraeus and current Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, Gen. Raymond T. Odierno.[6]

Dates of rank

United States Military Academy class of 1976

Second Lieutenant First Lieutenant Captain Major Lieutenant Colonel
O-1 O-2 O-3 O-4 O-5
2 June 1976 2 June 1978 1 August 1980 1 September 1987 1 April 1993

Colonel Brigadier General Major General Lieutenant General General
O-6 O-7 O-8 O-9 O-10
1 August 1997 1 March 2002 15 July 2005 29 July 2008 12 September 2011

[7] [8]


  1. ^ "Lt. Gen. Rodriguez: What is the ISAF Joint Command". nato.int
  2. ^ "Rodriguez Succeeds Ham as Africom Commander". Defense.gov. 12 March 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "General David M. Rodriguez, Commander". United States Africa Command. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "MISSION FIRST: Sense Of Duty".  
  6. ^ Jim Hinnant, FORSCOM Public Affairs Officer (11 November 2011). "Rodriguez receives historic award, celebrates veterans in return to home area". U.S Army. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  7. ^ Official biography 
  8. ^ Sgt. Marcus Gable, 49th Public Affairs Detachment (12 September 2011). "GEN Rodriguez takes command with promotion". U.S Army. Retrieved 1 January 2013.