Tommy Franks

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Tommy Ray Franks (born 17 June 1945) is a retired general in the United States Army. His last Army post was as the Commander of the United States Central Command, overseeing United States Armed Forces operations in a 25-country region, including the Middle East. Franks succeeded General Anthony Zinni to this position on 6 July 2000 and served until his retirement on 7 July 2003.

Franks was the U.S. general leading the attack on the Taliban in Afghanistan in response to the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon in 2001. He also led the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

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Early life and education

Born Tommy Ray Bentley in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, and adopted by Ray and Lorene "Pete" Parker Franks, Tommy Franks graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in Midland, Texas. He attended the University of Texas at Austin and where he was a brother of Delta Upsilon International Fraternity. He dropped out of college after two years due to subpar grades and lack of motivation. Franks decided to give himself a "jolt" and joined the United States Army, reportedly nursing a hangover while at the local recruiter's office.[1]

Later, through the military, Franks was able to matriculate to the University of Texas at Arlington, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1971. Additionally, he holds a Master of Science in Public Administration from the Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania and is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College and the Army War College.[2]

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