Retired Army General Stanley McChrystal, President Obama’s former top military commander in Afghanistan relieved from duty last year, is taking a new post working with the Obama administration. According to a White House official, he will lead a three-member advisory board for a new White House initiative to support and honor military families, led by First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden’s wife Jill Biden.
The initiative, called Joining Forces, “aims to educate, challenge, and spark action from all sectors of society” to address the unique challenges American troops, veterans and their families face said the White House press office.
“He will be a unique and powerful advocate for the millions of Americans who serve our country selflessly,” said the First Lady in a statement welcoming McChrystal to the effort. “This program will build upon our nation’s great patriotism by asking all Americans to take action and ensure our military families have the support they have earned. General McChrystal will be a powerful leader in this cause.”
General McChrystal resigned his position as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan in June 2010 following a controversial Rolling Stone magazine article. In the article McChrystal and his top officers were quoted making disrespectful remarks about civilian officials, including Vice President Biden and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry.
Following the official launch of the Joining Forces program Tuesday at the White House, the First Lady and Mrs. Biden head out on a two-day tour to highlight communities, businesses and non-profits already putting words into action. For example, Wednesday they will visit Camp Lejeune in North Carolina to celebrate “Operation Shower,” a non-profit organization that hosts unit-wide baby showers for expecting military families. There they will be joined by 40 pregnant women whose husbands are service members.
According to an administration official, Gen. McChrystal will not formally be part of the administration as the program will be coordinated through the Center for a New American Security, a nonpartisan research institution.
General McChrystal and his wife Annie will be at the White House Tuesday for the announcement.