The USO is bidding fond farewell to Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army’s outgoing chief of staff, who retired Friday after nearly four decades of service to the United States.
Odierno has been a strong backer of the USO’s mission to support the troops he commanded and their families. He spoke about his experiences with the USO on the red carpet of the 2013 USO Gala in Washington.
The general played a big role in the 2009 USO tour featuring then-Comedy Central personality Stephen Colbert, where President Barack Obama famously ordered Odierno to shave Colbert’s head on stage in front of an audience of service members.
And Odierno also had a hand in boosting the morale of USO employees and volunteers behind the scenes. You can read USO Vice President of Entertainment Rachel Tischler’s account of being coined by Odierno during one of her trips to produce USO entertainment tours in Iraq.