Deputy Commandant, Army Command and General Staff College: Who Is Christopher Hughes?
On June 28, 2013, Brigadier General Christopher P. Hughes was named deputy commandant of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Hughes is from Red Oak, Iowa, having moved there in 1972 with his family after his father retired from the Air Force after 23 years. He graduated from high school in 1979 and went on to attend Northwest Missouri State University, where he took ROTC and graduated with a B.S. in political science and a commission as an Army second lieutenant in 1983.
Hughes progressed up the Army ranks and in 1995 earned an M.A. in business management from Webster University in St. Louis. His first prominent assignment came when he was named lead terrorism investigator on the commission that looked at the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen by al-Qaeda.
By 2003, Hughes was a lieutenant colonel in command of a battalion of the 101st Airborne Division as it served in Najaf, Iraq. His unit was assigned to talk to Grand Ayatollah Ali Hussein Sistani, whose support was necessary for his unit’s success in the town.
As Hughes and his unit approached Sistani’s residence, a crowd formed and began to get ugly. In response, Hughes held his rifle at arm’s length, muzzle down, and ordered his troops to take a knee and smile. Hughes and his unit then left the scene. He drew much attention, even being mentioned in one of President George W. Bush’s weekly radio addresses, for diffusing the situation. Sistani later issued a proclamation asking Najaf’s residents to cooperate with the Army.
After his tour in Iraq was up, Hughes was assigned to the Pentagon, a situation he found as challenging as his combat tours. He wrote a book about the experience, War on Two Fronts: An Infantry Commander’s War in Iraq and the Pentagon (2007).
In 2005, Hughes earned an M.A. in national security studies from the National Defense University.
Some of Hughes’ stateside assignments were Executive Officer to the Secretary of the Army and Chief of Army Liaison to the U.S. House of Representatives. His more recent assignments include Deputy Commanding General for Support and as the Special Assistant to the Commanding General, 3rd Infantry Division in Fort Stewart, Georgia, where he earned his general’s star. Shortly thereafter, he deployed to Afghanistan.
Hughes is married; he and his wife Marguerite have three children. One is following in his father’s footsteps—son Patrick earned an Army commission after graduating from Northwest Missouri State.
To Learn More:
Commander Shows Restraint, Prevents Unnecessary Violence (by Ryan Chilcote, CNN)
New Brigadier General Reflects On Hometown (by Mary S. Katzenberger, U.S. Army)
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