Sept. 8, 2011
General Stanley McChrystal, former top commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, will present Morningside College’s 2011 Waitt Lecture at 7:30 p.m. on October 19 in Eppley Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public.
During his lecture, McChrystal will draw on 34 years of military experience to share his perspectives on leadership, innovation, geopolitics and the current state of military and global affairs.
McChrystal, a retired four-star general, commanded U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan from June 2009 to June 2010. He led the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) from 2003 to 2008 and was responsible for the U.S. military’s counter-terrorism efforts around the globe. Under McChrystal’s leadership, JSOC is credited with the December 2003 capture of Saddam Hussein and the June 2006 killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq.
McChrystal resigned as commander of all U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan in 2010 after a Rolling Stone magazine article quoted some of his aides as making critical comments about senior officials in the Obama administration. In April 2011, the Pentagon announced that an investigation by the Defense Department into the magazine article found no proof of wrongdoing by McChrystal or his aides.
The son and grandson of Army officers, McChrystal graduated from West Point in 1976 and trained at the Special Forces School in Fort Bragg, N.C. He was later commissioned as an infantry officer and spent much of his career commanding special operations and airborne infantry units. During the Persian Gulf War, he served in a Joint Special Operations Task Force and commanded the 75th Ranger Regiment in Saudi Arabia. He was promoted to brigadier general in 2001and was appointed chief of staff of military operations in Afghanistan in 2002.
After he retired from the military in July 2010, McChrystal has served on several boards of directors for corporations and not-for-profit organizations. He also is a senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, where he teaches a course on leadership. He returned to public service in April 2011 when the Obama administration invited him to serve as an advisor to the Joining Forces initiative, which brings attention to the unique needs of America’s military families.
Norman Waitt Jr., a 1986 Morningside graduate and a member of the Morningside College Board of Directors, established the Waitt Lecture Series at Morningside College in 1997.