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John Shalikashvili

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Title: John Shalikashvili  
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Subject: Operation Provide Comfort, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, SACEUR, State Partnership Program
Collection: 1936 Births, 2011 Deaths, 20Th-Century People from Georgia (Country), American Military Personnel of the Vietnam War, American People of Georgian (Country) Descent, American People of Russian Descent, Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, George Washington University Alumni, Georgian Emigrants to the United States, Grand Crosses of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Nato Supreme Allied Commanders, Naval War College Alumni, Nobility of Georgia (Country), People from Peoria, Illinois, People from Warsaw, Polish Emigrants to the United States, Polish People of Georgian Descent, Recipients of the Air Medal, Recipients of the Bronze Star Medal, Recipients of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Recipients of the Distinguished Service Medal (United States), Recipients of the Gallantry Cross (Vietnam), Recipients of the Legion of Merit, Recipients of the Meritorious Service Decoration, Recipients of the Order of the White Lion, Recipients of the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, United States Army Generals
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John Shalikashvili

John Shalikashvili
Shalikashvili in August 1993
Birth name John Malchase David Shalikashvili
Nickname(s) "General Shali"
Born (1936-06-27)June 27, 1936
Warsaw, Poland
Died July 23, 2011(2011-07-23) (aged 75)
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, U.S.
Buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1958–1997
Rank General
Commands held Supreme Allied Commander Europe
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
9th Infantry Division (United States)
Operation Provide Comfort
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards Defense Distinguished Service Medal (4)
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit (3)
Bronze Star Medal (V)
Meritorious Service Medal (4)
Air Medal
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Presidential Medal of Freedom
Relations Joan (Zimpelman) Shalikashvili (wife)
Brant Shalikashvili (son)
Gunhild Bartsch (wife, died 1965)
Other work Visiting professor, Stanford University
Director, Frank Russell Trust Company
Director, L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc.
Director, Plug Power Inc.
Director, United Defense Industries, Inc.

John Malchase David Shalikashvili (Naval War College Distinguished Graduate Leadership Award.[1]

Shalikashvili was the first foreign-born man to become Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He served in every level of unit command from platoon to division.[2] Shalikashvili died of a stroke in 2011 at the age of 75.[3]


  • Early life and education 1
  • Career 2
  • Later life and death 3
  • Personal life 4
  • Awards and decorations 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Early life and education

Shalikashvili was a Shalikashvili. His father, Prince Dimitri Shalikashvili (1896–1978), born in Gurjaani,[4] served in the army of Imperial Russia; Dimitri was a grandson of Russian general Dmitry Staroselsky. Shalikashvili's mother was Countess Maria Rüdiger-Beliaev.

After the

Military offices
Preceded by
Gen. John Galvin
Supreme Allied Commander Europe (NATO)
Succeeded by
Gen. George Joulwan
Preceded by
Adm. David E. Jeremiah (acting Chairman)
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Succeeded by
Gen. Hugh Shelton
  • Shalikashvili calls for rethinking ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’
  • Andrew Marble, "In Memoriam: How General John Shalikashvili 'Paid It Forward' to 500,000 Others," Joint Forces Quarterly 63 (October 2011), 4–5.
  • The Life and Legacy of Gen. John M. Shalikashvili, Q&A with Shali biographer Andrew Marble (August 2011)

External links

  1. ^ USNWC official website
  2. ^ Luttwak (August 22, 1993). "Why Clinton Called Upon Shalikashvili". Sacramento Bee. 
  3. ^ Dewan, Shaila (July 23, 2011). "Gen. John M. Shalikashvili, Military Chief in 1990s, Dies at 75".  
  4. ^ "Shalikashvili seeks to have Nazi dad reburied in Georgia" The Seattle Times.
  5. ^ "War in a Time of Peace". Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  6. ^ [3][4]
  7. ^ "General's Father Fought for Nazi Unit", New York Times.
  8. ^ Shalikashvili, Dimitri. Memoirs. Hoover Institution. 
  9. ^ Marble, Andrew. "A Biography Project on Gen. John Shalikashvili". Retrieved 11 August 2011. 
  10. ^ Marble, Andrew (January 2012). "How Are Great Leaders Made? Lessons from the Career of General John Shalikashvili" (PDF-20.75 Mb). Joint Force Quarterly (64): pp. 137–138. Retrieved August 24, 2014. 
  11. ^ Goldstein, Lyle J. (Spring 2000) General John Shalikashvili and the Civil-Military Relations of Peacekeeping. Armed Forces & Society: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 26, p. 387.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Former Head Of Chiefs Of Staff Is Ill". The New York Times. August 10, 2004. Retrieved October 28, 2010. 
  14. ^ "In Honor of General John M. Shalikashvili (June 27, 1936 – July 23, 2011)". The National Bureau of Asian Research. August 2011. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  15. ^ Shalikashvili, John M. (January 2, 2007). "Second Thoughts on Gays in the Military". The New York Times. Retrieved May 7, 2010. 
  16. ^ Shalikashvili, John M. (June 19, 2009). "Data Must Rule the Debate on Gays in the Military". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 7, 2010. 
  17. ^ CNN Wire Staff (July 23, 2011). "John Shalikashvili, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, dies".  
  18. ^ John Shalikashvili at Find a Grave


See also

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Silver star
Silver star

Badge Combat Infantryman Badge
1st row Defense Distinguished Service Medal Distinguished Service Medal
2nd row Legion of Merit Bronze Star Medal Meritorious Service Medal
3rd row Air Medal Joint Service Commendation Medal Army Commendation Medal
4th row Presidential Medal of Freedom National Defense Service Medal Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
5th row Vietnam Service Medal Southwest Asia Service Medal Humanitarian Service Medal
6th row Army Service Ribbon Army Overseas Service Ribbon Inter-American Defense Board Medal
7th row Vietnam Gallantry Cross with two silver and one bronze star Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal Brazilian Order of Military Merit, Knight
8th row Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland Meritorious Service Medal of Canada Vietnam Campaign Medal
Badge Parachutist Badge
Badges Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge United States Army Staff Identification Badge
Badge 9th Infantry Division Combat Service Identification Badge

Awards and decorations

Personal life

Shalikashvili died at the age of 75 on July 23, 2011, at the Madigan Army Medical Center in Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, from a stroke.[17] He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.[18]

In 2007, Shalikashvili penned an op-ed in the New York Times calling for a reversal of Don't ask, don't tell.[15] A similar op-ed by him appeared in the June 19, 2009, issue of the Washington Post.[16] The policy was reversed July 22, 2011, the day before his death.

In 2006 the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) launched the John M. Shalikashvili Chair in National Security Studies to recognize Shalikashvili for his years of military service and for his leadership on NBR’s Board of Directors.[14]

Shalikashvili suffered a severe stroke on August 7, 2004 that paralyzed his left side.[13]

Shalikashvili was married to Joan and had one son, Brant, a graduate of Washington State University. John also had a daughter Debra.

Shalikashvili was an advisor to John Kerry's 2004 Presidential campaign. He was a visiting professor at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. He served as a director of Russell Investments, L-3 Communications, Inc., Plug Power Inc., United Defense, Inc., the Initiative for Global Development,[12] and the National Bureau of Asian Research.

Ashton Carter shows Tinatin Khidasheli an official portrait of General Shalikashvili.

Later life and death

Shalikashvili was appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1993 by U.S. President William J. Clinton, effective October 25. He retired from the U.S. Army in September 1997, after serving for 38 years.

Shalikashvili achieved real distinction with his considerable success as the commander of Operation Provide Comfort, the peacekeeping and humanitarian activity in northern Iraq after the Gulf War. This assignment involved intense and complex negotiations with the Turkish government, and tough face-to-face meetings with the Iraqi military.[11] Another important achievement was the establishment of the Joint Vision 2010 program, which would transfer the United States military into one great and effective digitalized military force.

In 1970, he became executive officer of the 2nd Battalion, 18th Field Artillery at Fort Lewis, Washington. Later in 1975, he commanded 1st Battalion, 84th Field Artillery, 9th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis. In 1977, he attended the U.S. Army War College and served as the Commander of Division Artillery (DIVARTY) for the 1st Armored Division in Germany. He later became the assistant division commander. In 1987, Shalikashvili commanded the 9th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis. There he oversaw a “high technology test bed” tasked to integrate three brigades—one heavy armor, one light infantry, and one “experimental mechanized”—into a new type of fighting force.[10]

Shalikashvili served in various Field Artillery and Air Defense Artillery positions as a platoon leader, forward observer, instructor, and student, in various staff positions, and as a battery commander. He served in Vietnam in Quang Tri Province with Advisory Team 4 (redesignated Team 19 in September, 1968), Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV), as a senior district advisor from 1968 to 1969. He was awarded a Bronze Star with "V" for heroism during his Vietnam tour. Immediately after his Vietnam service, he attended the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.

After graduation he had planned to work for Hyster Lift Truck, but received a draft notice in July 1958. He entered the Army as a private, enjoyed it, and applied to Officer Candidate School. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1959.

Shalikashvili at his farewell ceremony on September 30, 1997.
U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen (left) and Shalikashvili (right) at a Pentagon briefing on July 31, 1997.
Shalikashvili with U.S. President Clinton.


In May 1958, Shalikashvili and his family became American citizens. It was the first nationality he ever held. He had previously been classified as stateless because he had been born to parents who had been refugees.

Shalikashvili went to School of International Affairs.

When Shalikashvili arrived in Peoria he spoke little English:

In 1952, when Shalikashvili was 16, the family emigrated to Peoria, Illinois. They were sponsored by Winifred Luthy, the wife of a local banker, who was previously married to Dimitri's cousin. The Luthys and the Episcopal Church helped the Shalikashvili family get started, finding jobs and a home for them. Dimitri worked for Ameren, and Maria was a file clerk at Commercial National Bank.

His family stayed with relatives there in Pappenheim for eight years. [9] It was in Pappenheim in the closing days of World War II that John first laid eyes on American soldiers.[8], Germany, being reunited with Dimitri along the way.Pappenheim approached Warsaw in 1944, the family fled to Red Army. Meanwhile, Maria, John and his two brothers lived through the destruction of Warsaw. As the Hoover Institution until after the war. A collection of Dimitri Shalikashvili's writings are on deposit at the prisoner of war. Dimitri surrendered to British forces and was a Normandy and transferred to [7] In 1939, he fought against the

(along with other Georgian exiles) as a contract officer. Polish Army, John and Gale. Dimitri served in the Othar and the daughter of Count Rudiger-Bielajew, a former Tsarist general. They had three children: [5]

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