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HEIDELBERG, Germany — The man who led the land forces in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Lt. Gen. David McKiernan, has been nominated for a fourth star and appointment to command U.S. Army Europe, according to an announcement from the General Officer Management Office.

McKiernan, currently the deputy commander and chief of staff for U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort McPherson, Ga., would succeed Gen. B.B. Bell in the USAREUR post, likely sometime next month, said an Army official. Bell has been selected to lead U.S. Forces Korea in Seoul.

McKiernan would also be commander of NATO’s Allied Land Component Command Headquarters Heidelberg.

According to a 2003 Newsweek story, McKiernan is an Army brat who has never lived under the same roof for more than three years. He was promoted through the ranks until Gen. Fred Franks tapped him to run his command post during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. He also has served in Bosnia and Germany, as commander of the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, and at the Pentagon as deputy chief of staff for operations.

According to Newsweek, McKiernan has consistently impressed senior officers with a solid grasp of tactics and a cool head. “He’s not a yeller, not a screamer,” the magazine quoted retired Gen. Edwin Burba in describing McKiernan.

McKiernan told the magazine: “I’m not a flamboyant guy.”

McKiernan’s deputy, GOMO announced, is expected to be Maj. Gen. Gary Speer, who is nominated for a third star and assignment as U.S. Army Europe deputy commander and chief of staff.

Speer is currently also at Fort McPherson, serving as Third Army deputy commander.

Speer would replace Maj. Gen. David Valcourt, who has been acting deputy commander and chief of staff for U.S. Army Europe since August.

McKiernan’s Army service began in 1972 at the College of William and Mary, where he enrolled in ROTC and subsequently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history. McKiernan later earned a master’s degree in public administration at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.

His biography shows he was promoted every two years until he became a captain. He was promoted to major after five years, and to lieutenant colonel after seven years. It took another five to become a full-bird colonel, then three years to become a brigadier general. McKiernan became a major general in 2000, and lieutenant general in 2001.

Speer, who served from 2002 until May 2004 as deputy chief of staff for USAREUR, also began his military career in 1972 as a second lieutenant.

Neither McKiernan nor Speer could be reached for comment.

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