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Retiring 3-star to lead military college

Feb. 26, 2013 - 09:54AM   |   Last Updated: Feb. 26, 2013 - 09:54AM  |  
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Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, who is planning to retire from the Army after 37 years of service, has been selected to be the next president of Georgia Military College, officials announced Tuesday.

Caldwell, who is commanding general of U.S. Army North, is expected to assume his new duties this summer. He will succeed retired Maj. Gen. Peter Boylan, who has served as the college's president since 1992.

"I'm honored to have been selected for this prestigious position, and to carry on a proud 134-year tradition of excellence here at Georgia Military College," Caldwell said in a statement provided by the college. "After nearly 37 years of leading America's incredible men and women in uniform, I understand how important it is to produce leaders with a strong 21st Century education."

A 1976 West Point graduate, Caldwell was selected as president of Georgia Military College after a six-month search.

Georgia Military College is a public and independent institution comprised of a junior college and a separate preparatory school, according to its website.

It is one of five military junior colleges in the country. These schools are a military-style junior college that allows cadets to become commissioned officers in one of the reserve components in two years instead of the usual four through the Early Commissioning Program. Students must complete a bachelor's degree before serving as regular officers on active duty.

Before commanding Army North, Caldwell led NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan, which was responsible for building up and training the Afghan security forces.

Caldwell also commanded the Combined Arms Center, served as spokesman for Multi-National Force-Iraq, and was commanding general of the 82nd Airborne Division.

Relating to his tenure as NTM-A commander, Caldwell came under fire when three colonels said the general tried to stop a 2010 inspector general's investigation into corruption and patient neglect at a U.S.-funded Afghan military hospital.

In testimony on Capitol Hill, Caldwell disputed the colonels' testimony, saying he only wanted a short delay, which amounted to less than two weeks, to inform his superior, then-Gen. David Petraeus, about the need for an investigation. Caldwell said he also needed time for Petraeus to ask Afghan President Hamid Karzai to remove the Afghan surgeon general, whom U.S. officials believed was responsible for corruption and conditions at the hospital.

The IG investigation was eventually approved, and the Afghan surgeon general was removed.

The hospital accusations against Caldwell came just months after he was cleared by the Defense Department IG on another matter.

A Feb. 24, 2011, story by Rolling Stone magazine said Caldwell's staff used an Army unit trained in psychological operations to improperly manipulate American senators to get more money and troops for the war. Those allegations were unfounded, according to the DoD IG.

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