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.
I don't care for President Obama but that was a classy move. Gotta give him credit for that.
Although I am an ardent Obama supporter, I diagree with this decision. There is no shame in retiring at the 3 star rank. Those requirements were put in place for a reason. His actions do not
hold up to the standard by his own admission. Someone of lesser rank and fame would have faced the UCMJ. Article 81 is pretty clear to me.
How gracious of them, after all the SCANDAL that was the Rolling Stone interview SHOULD cancel an entire career of dedicated efforts on behalf of this country. He should be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail.
Do you believe this? What kind of ego maniac do we have running this country?
Bush and Cheney would have "waterboarded him". He is one lucky SOB that they are out of power.....but then aren't we all?
That is very admirable of President Obama.
The General should thank his lucky stars, no pun intended, that President is a fair man. His lapse could have cost him his entire career. You can't do that sort of thing when you are in uniform. I can't imagine how this would affect the morale of his men on the field, knowing they are serving under a man who does not respect the Commander-in-Chief. Have a good retirement General, and thank you for your service.
Best President, EVER!
McChrystal made a mistake, but he did speak the truth. He has earned the respect of this nation with his dedication and service.
I say NO.He is no better than any other solier.NO SPECIAL TREATMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He has loose lips. If any thing, they should take some rank away.Had an ordinary soldier done what McChrystal did they would have been taken to the wood shed and discharged unfavorably.