US commander who transformed special forces steps down

Admiral William McRaven, Commander of the US Special Operations Command, speaks during the Reagan National Defense Forum at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, on November 16, 2013The US commander who helped place special operation forces at the forefront of the American military hung up his uniform, hailing a “golden age” for the elite commandos. Admiral William McRaven, 58, rose to prominence for his role in overseeing the successful 2011 raid by Navy SEALs that killed Osama bin Laden at his Pakistani compound. Experts and fellow officers say he helped shape a new doctrine for commandos and a new approach in Washington to military power that emphasizes “small footprints” over large-scale deployments. At a ceremony on Thursday, marking McRaven’s retirement as head of the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM), Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel said the admiral had “deepened our relationships abroad, working more closely with allies and partners to better anticipate and counter threats.”

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