General Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf, a retired United States Army General who served as Commander of United States Central Command, was the commander of the Coalition Forces during the Persian Gulf War of 1991. Schwarzkopf was born a native of Trenton, New Jersey. His father served as the Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police and investigated the Lindberg kidnapping that occurred on March 1 st , 1932. Shortly after, his father returned to the United States Army and earned his rank as Major General. Schwarzkopf was first introduced to the Persian Gulf region during the eve of 1946 after his father was stationed in Tehran, Iran for his role in Operational Ajax. Schwarzkopf's father also played a significant role in the formation of SAVAK, the Shah's secret police. Schwarzkopf attended high school in Tehran and then the International School of Geneva. Schwarzkopf also graduated from the Valley Forge Military Academy before enrolling into the armed forces.
Schwarzkopf acquired a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy, where he graduated forty third of his class in 1956. During his military career, Schwarzkopf pursued his Masters of Science in mechanical engineering before graduating in 1964. His secondary education allowed him to flourish in guided missile engineering, a program incorporating aeronautical and mechanical aspects. Schwarzkopf's impressive educational background commissioned him as Second Lieutenant upon graduation from West Point. During his early military career, Schwarzkopf served as a platoon leader and executive officer of the Second Airborne Battle Group at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He also became aide-de-camp during the Berlin Brigade, a precursor to the construction of the Berlin Wall In the early 1960s. Schwarzkopf became a West Point instructor of the mechanical engineering department after completing his degree in 1965.
Schwarzkopf was given the role as task force adviser of Airborne Division of South Vietnam in 1965. Schwarzkopf was promoted to Major during his first tour of Vietnam and then returned to teach at West Point for two more years before becoming Lieutenant Colonel in 1968. Schwarzkopf married Brenda Holsinger in 1968. In March 1970, Schwarzkopf's platoon encountered a minefield on the Batangan Peninsula. He discovered several of his men trapped in the minefield and led a few to safety by ordering the division engineers to mark all existing mines with shaving cream. As a result, Schwarzkopf was rewarded a third Silver Star for his bravery, and earned a reputation as an officer who would willingly risk his life for the men under his command.
General Schwarzkopf continued to evolve in his military career during the 1970s. He attended the United States Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania and served as the Army General at The Pentagon. He was also the deputy commander of the United States Forces of Alaska under General Willard Latham, and served as the commander of the First Brigade of the Ninth Infantry Division at Fort Lewis Washington. After several promotions and leadership roles, Schwarzkopf was given command as Major General over the 24 th Mechanized Infantry Division stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia. During this time, Schwarzkopf encountered a coup on the island of Grenada, a suspected ally supplying insurgents in Central America. Schwarzkopf served as an adviser to the Navy admiral in the launch of an amphibious attack against the Grenada coup. His successful maneuvering quickly garnered the respect of his superior, thus earning the title of Deputy Commander of the Joint Task Force. Thereafter, Schwarzkopf earned consecutive promotions, including Commanding General at Fort Lewis, Lieutenant General, and General of the United States Army's Training and Doctrine Command.
Schwarzkopf was appointed to Commander-in-Chief of the United States Central Command in 1986. During this time, the United States Central Command conducted operations along the Horn of Africa, Middle East, and South Asia. Schwarzkopf's prewar strategies aided a hypothetical strike against Iraq in defense of the oil fields located in the Persian Gulf. During the 1990 war games, Iraq invaded Kuwait, which set Schwarzkopf's plan into action. Schwarzkopf's strategical blueprint was the basis for Operation Desert Shield that aided in the defense of Saudi Arabia, a precursor to Desert Storm. General Schwarzkopf felt that the troops were inadequately supplied for a large-scale ground attack in a desert environment, which prompted the production of camouflage uniforms that allowed for improved comfort in hot, dry desert conditions. Operation Desert Storm successfully ended the ground war in just four days. Schwarzkopf's strategy earned him the nickname, “Stormin Norman,” due to his strategical ingenuity.
General Schwarzkopf retired from active duty in 1991 and wrote an autobiography entitled, “It Doesn't Take A Hero,” which published in 1992. Schwarzkopf served as a military analyst for NBC during the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also served as a proponent to prostate cancer awareness after his diagnoses in 1993. During retirement, Schwarzkopf donated his earnings to various charities, and has participated in several communities. Schwarzkopf was inducted into New Jersey's Hall of Fame on May 4 th , 2008. Schwarzkopf currently resides in Florida.