Other personalities from Washington paid tribute to the late general.
“I was deeply saddened to learn of General Ray Odierno’s death after a battle with cancer. He has dedicated his life to serving this country and I will always be grateful for that, ”tweeted President Barack Obama.
“Ray Odierno was such a strong, positive, and uplifting person,” said Senator Jack Reed (DR.I.), chairman of the Senate Armed Forces Committee. “He dedicated his life’s work to serving others and his life was well lived. He will be missed by all who have had the privilege of knowing him and serving with him. “
A number of the honors focused on his leadership skills. “He’s proven to be one of our most effective combat officers in the years after 9/11,” former Secretary of State Colin Powell told the New York Times.
“Ray was a teammate, a confidante and a strong role model for me. Mostly he was my friend, “Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement.
He added, “For nearly four decades in uniform, Ray Odierno served his country with great dignity and courage. He led bravely in peace and war. “
Army Secretary Christine Wormuth tweeted: “On behalf of @USArmy, I extend my deepest condolences to the family of GEN (AR) Raymond Odierno, the 38th Army Chief of Staff. He was a thoughtful, compassionate character leader. “
Stars and Stripes, the military’s own longtime chronicle, said, “Gen. Raymond Odierno was an imposing figure, weighing 6 to 5 and 250 pounds with a shaved head. He was easy to get along with and developed a strong relationship with his troops. He was considered one of the most capable combat commanders in the army. “
Some of the honors took on a personal note. Former Florida MP Allen West, now a Republican candidate for Texas governor, tweeted, “I say goodbye to my former 4th Infantry Division commander, Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, who lost his battle with cancer. “
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy paid tribute to Odierno as a native son. “Sorry to see the death of Rockaway born and former @ USArmy Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno. General Odierno served our nation with integrity and purpose and represented the best of our state, ”he tweeted.
The Bidens found that Odierno was in command when their late son Beau was serving in Iraq.
“When we think back to our time as Vice President and Second Lady, Ray was part of our most poignant memories – memories that will stay with us for the rest of our lives,” wrote the Bidens.