July 23rd, 2010
09:14 AM ET

McChrystal: Career didn't end as I wished

[Update] At his retirement ceremony, Gen. Stanley McChrystal says his career didn't end as he'd wished. Watch part of McChrystal's speech

[Original post] A ceremony honoring retiring Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal is scheduled for Friday in Washington.

McChrystal's illustrious career came to an abrupt end when he resigned as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan after he and his staff were quoted in a Rolling Stone magazine article criticizing and mocking key administration officials.

The West Point graduate and a former Green Beret was a senior official for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen.

Between 2003 and 2008, he was the commander of the highly clandestine Joint Special Operations Command, which oversees the military's most sensitive forces, including the Army's Delta Force.

In 2009, Defense Secretary Robert Gates asked for the resignation of Gen. David D. McKiernan, the former U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan. McChrystal would have "fresh eyes on the problem" in Afghanistan, Gates said at the time.

President Obama tapped McChrystal in June 2009 to be the top commander in Afghanistan.

McChrystal was known for his discretion and keeping the media at arms length. That perception was shattered when the infamous Rolling Stone article came out in June.

He did not directly criticize Obama in the article, but reporter Michael Hastings writes that the general and Obama "failed from the outset to connect" after the president took office.

Sources familiar with their first meeting said McChrystal thought Obama looked "uncomfortable and intimidated" by the room full of top military officials, according to the article.

The journalist wrote that an unnamed aide to McChrystal mocks Vice President Joe Biden.

McChrystal did not deny the article's accuracy. In a statement, he called the comments "a mistake" and apologized for "poor judgment."

The retirement ceremony will be at 6 p.m. at Fort McNair, the Defense Department said.

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