June 29th, 2010
06:20 PM ET
4 years ago

White House to let McChrystal retire with 4 stars

President Barack Obama has agreed to waive a Pentagon rule and let outgoing Gen. Stanley McChrystal retire at his full four-star rank.
President Barack Obama has agreed to waive a Pentagon rule and let outgoing Gen. Stanley McChrystal retire at his full four-star rank.

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama has agreed to waive a Pentagon rule and let outgoing Gen. Stanley McChrystal retire at his full four-star rank, a White House spokesman said Tuesday.

While the general is short of the time needed to retire at his current pay grade, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Obama would ensure he keeps his rank as he steps down.

"The president believes and has talked with Secretary Gates about this, and we will do whatever is necessary to ensure he, somebody who has served the country as he has, can retire at a four-star level," Gibbs told reporters.

McChrystal resigned as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan last week after he and his staff were quoted in a Rolling Stone magazine article criticizing and mocking key administration officials, and he announced Monday that he would retire from the Army.


A senior Pentagon official told CNN that he would have to have held his rank for three years before qualifying for full retirement benefits - but Obama is waiving that requirement because of McChrystal's many years of "honorable service," the official said.

McChrystal was promoted to four-star rank and assigned to command of the Afghan war in June 2009. Before that, he led U.S. military counterterrorism operations as chief of the Pentagon's joint Special Operations Command.

– CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr contributed to this report.

soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Keith in Austin

    A 4-star retirement is fair and just!

    June 29, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  2. liberal hypocrisy

    Good. He's done his job. Sure, he disagreed with Obama and Biden–most Americans do. I'm sure he was planning on retiring and just wanted people to understand how poorly Obama and the democrats are running the war.

    Unlike during the Bush years, as soon as Obama was in office the media and democrats forgot that we were in two wars–where's the reporting and protests?

    Biden is a clown, but somehow became the VP. I laugh every time he opens his mouth because it is either misinformation, a lie, or so truthful that it hurts the Obama administration.

    June 29, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  3. Cynthia - Arkansas

    I am so proud of President Obama. He is a much bigger man than these mean-spirited Republicans. They would have had him court martialed!

    June 29, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  4. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Not sure that makes much sense. He has disrespected his superiors including General James Jones...whom is NOT a clown. You can't let him get away with that and retire at full pay without doing his time like everyone else. Strip him his star for contempt. Then "let" him retire at his regular retirement.

    June 29, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  5. whatever is necessary to ensure he, somebody who has served the country as he has, can retire at a four-star level

    the correct thing to do, he only said what we are ALL thinking about with respect to the Afgan situation

    June 29, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  6. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Gen. McChrystal and his family have given so much to all of us and I whole heartedly agree with President Obama, he should retire with his 4 Stars. The hero that McChrystal is, he knew there was a possibility of losing his 4 stars when he resigned and later announced his retirement. McChrystal is still an honorable man and so is our President, great going.

    June 29, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  7. Elizabeth

    wow....isn't that generous of you,Obama. You make me miss George Bush.

    June 29, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  8. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    Wish I could be an insubordinate S.O.B. and recieve my full retirement after being fired for doing so. But hey, we "small people" as the CEO of BP calls us are getting used to that treatment these days.

    June 29, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  9. Artie

    Well that was big of them since the General probably earned each one! Obama hasn't earned or learned anything !

    June 29, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  10. Pkm

    He is very lucky obama likes people and has a good heart

    June 29, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  11. Four and The Door

    This is a good decision. Regardless of whatever comments the liberal reporter was able to come up with, General Stanley McChrystal is one of the best of the best and we are fortunate to have men like him in our military service.

    June 29, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  12. Albo58

    Outrageous! Not only does McChrystal fail to meet the 4-star time-in-grade requirement, but that little "relieved of command" thingy should have been the automatic mechanism for Lt Gen retirement pay! Oh well, this President does like to reward bad behavior as he has often proven so what's new?

    June 29, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  13. Willy Brown

    One more progressive fleeing the sinking Obambi ship!

    June 29, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  14. Joe Public

    In other words, he is being rendered special treatment, no less......

    June 29, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  15. Jilli

    For his breach of conduct, he should have been stripped of at least one star. The military is all about honor and discipline, and he failed miserably on both accounts.

    Pres. Obama once again impressed me by waiving the requirement and allowing him to receive full retirement benefits. Pres. Obama's reaction and actions in this situation proved him to be a much bigger man than the general.

    June 29, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  16. benton

    if it was up to me, i would let this guy retire as a 3 star general. he was careless about what he said about the president and he should be punished by only retireing as a 3 star not 4 star general. if he would have kept his big fat mouth shut, he could have retired as a 4 star general when he wanted to retire. the rules shouldnt be bent for this guy who was making rude coments about his boss.

    June 29, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  17. Fletch

    This is very smart and makes the President look like his is a gracious leader. I do not applaud Obama much but he may be catching on.

    June 29, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  18. ib

    he should be able to after the years of service he gave his country. And one more thing; why should he be punished for only telling the truth?

    June 29, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  19. Winston

    I think that is quite honorable of President Obama to allow to retain his rank...it shows that good work for the most part can earn you the best possible results even when your career ends in circumstances such as Gen McChrystal's did.

    June 29, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  20. John Doe

    All I can say is. Good for you Mr. President. I think the man has served long enough. If he wants to be done then let him be done. Doesn't his service record speak for it's self? If it does then why not let the man settle down and retire at the level he is at? I agree that we have rules and regulations for this sort of thing but the man has worked hard enough.

    June 29, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  21. Milbert Krohn

    Good. While General McChystal (or his aides) did show some bad judgement, it does not diminish his exemplary service to this nation. Thank God for folks like him who dedicate their lives to keeping us safe from the things that go bump in the night.

    June 29, 2010 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  22. Debbie

    Obama cracked. McChrystal is lucky to have not been court marshalled. Now the American taxpayer will have to pay for the retirement of one who couldn't uphold military law.

    June 29, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  23. Joe

    If they keep on retiring most of the Generals that runs our military, who is going to do their jobs?. Maybe Obama can add another "Czar" in his administration to run the Military from the White House.

    June 29, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  24. NYT:"during this election cycle big oil has paid 12.8 million in contributions, 71% to Republicans"!

    Since he had not served the 3 years, President Obama granting him a 4 star general retirement shows how much more class President Obama has than the "frat boy" general.

    June 29, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  25. Russ H

    Leave it to the idiotic media for printing materials that take an individual and loses his job. When I was in Vietnam we had media come up after losing soldiers and asked me how I felt. I told them they had two (2) minutes to get off this AO or I was going to either shoot them or kick their butt. Make up your mind. I am counting. If there is a conflict, it should be run by the military, not these idiots in government that sit back and say we should do this or that. I believe that all politicans should serve time either in the peace corps or military to see what it is like. You can pass that on to the lobbyists also.

    June 29, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
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