Famous Veteran Ricardo Sanchez Commanded Ground Forces in Iraq

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Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez commanded coalition ground forces in Iraq
Brig. Gen. Rebecca S. Halstead and Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, then V Corps commanding general, present arms during the 3rd COSCOM's Sept.15, 2005, deployment ceremony in Wiesbaden, Germany. (Spc. Mary Ferguson/3rd Corps Support Command)

Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez is a native of Rio Grande City, Texas. As a distinguished military graduate of Texas A&I University in Kingsville, Texas -- the university is now known as Texas A&M-Kingsville -- he was commissioned a second lieutenant of armor in the Army in 1973.

In 1991, then-Col. Sanchez served as a battalion commander during Operation Desert Storm, successfully leading his battalion to Basra. Shortly after the Gulf War, Sanchez was promoted to brigadier general and served in various capacities throughout the Army.

On July 10, 2001, he became commanding general of V Corps' 1st Armored Division. Sanchez held that position for nearly two years before assuming command of the entire corps on June 14, 2003. On that date, he became commander of coalition ground forces in the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq.

During his command, Sanchez oversaw the firefight with Uday and Qusay Hussein and the eventual capture of Saddam Hussein. From June 2003 to June 2004, he led the restoration and reconstruction of Iraq's infrastructure and security forces, allowing the interim Iraqi government time to organize and take control of their country on June 28, 2004.

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