April 11, 2011

McChrystal To Oversee White House Initiative

Nearly a year after President Barack Obama fired Gen. Stanley McChrystal as his top commander in Afghanistan, the White House has asked him to head a new advisory board to support military families.

The three-person panel will oversee the Joining Forces program, an initiative led by Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden. The effort will focus on mobilizing communities, businesses and the government to assist the families of those serving their country.

The first lady's office says the initiative will be announced at the White House on Tuesday and that McChyrstal's position would be unpaid. The program will be coordinated by the Center for a New American Security, a nonpartisan policy institute led by two military veterans.

McChrystal resigned in June after he and his aides were dismissive of their civilian bosses in a Rolling Stone magazine article. McChrystal was quoted as calling the period in 2009 when the president was deciding whether to send more troops to Afghanistan "painful" and said the president appeared ready to hand him an "unsellable" position.

McChrystal retired from the Army a month later, with the White House allowing him to keep his status as a four-star general. Since then, the 56-year-old McChrystal has been teaching at Yale University.

Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden have promoted efforts to support military families since the start of the Obama administration. The two women will make several stops across the country this week to highlight the new Joining Forces program, including several events with the children of service members.