LIEUTENANT GENERAL (Ret) RICARDO S. SANCHEZ
Lieutenant General (LTG) Ricardo S. Sanchez is a native of Rio Grande City, Texas. As a distinguished military Graduate of Texas A&I University, Kingsville, Texas, he was commissioned a second lieutenant of armor in the Regular Army in 1973. His initial assignment was to the 4th Battalion (Light Airborne), 68th Armor, 82nd Airborne Division, where he served as platoon leader, company executive officer, and assistant logistics officer and operations officer. He later served as Aide-De-Camp to the Assistant Division Commander (Support), 82nd Airborne Division. In June 1977, he returned to take command of Company C, 4th Battalion, 68th Armor. He was then assigned as an action control officer in the office of the Secretary of the Joint Staff, US Forces Korea/Eighth U.S. Army.
LTG Sanchez attended the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California and was subsequently assigned to the U.S. Army Armor Center, Fort Knox, Kentucky, where he served as the Chief, Analysis Branch for the Future Armored Combat System Task Force and the Armor Investment Strategy Study Group. He was also a special projects officer in the Directorate of Combat Developments at the Armor Center. At his next assignment, LTG Sanchez served as Operations Officer, and then Executive Officer for the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, 3rd Armored Division, Gelnhausen, Germany followed by assignment as Deputy Operations Officer, 3rd Armored Division, Frankfurt, Germany.
Upon returning to the US, LTG Sanchez assumed command of the 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor, 197th (Separate) Infantry Brigade, Fort Benning, Georgia, and deployed the battalion to combat for Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm in Kuwait and Iraq. Upon redeployment, the brigade transitioned to the 3rd Brigade, 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized). After relinquishing command, he served as an investigator in the Office of the Inspector General Agency, Washington, DC. In July 1994, LTG Sanchez assumed command of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized) (later 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division), Fort Riley, Kansas. Following his brigade command tour, he reported to Headquarters, US Southern Command, Panama where he served as Deputy Chief of Staff, and later as Director of Operations and Director of Strategy, Policy and Plans (J-3/J-S), USSOUTHCOM, Miami, Florida. LTG Sanchez was then assigned as the Assistant Division Commander¬Support for the 1st Infantry Division. In Dec 1999, he assumed duties as Commander, Multi¬National Brigade (East), KFOR, Kosovo. LTG Sanchez was then selected to serve as Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations at Headquarters, United States Army Europe and Seventh Army in Heidelberg, Germany.
On 10 July 2001, LTG Sanchez became Commanding General of the 1st Armored Division, America's Tank Division, in Wiesaden Germany, and held that position for nearly two years, to include deploying the division to combat for Operation Iraqi Freedom I in April and May 2003. On 14 June 2003 following nomination to Lieutenant General, he assumed command in Baghdad, Iraq, of the Army's Fifth Corps and simultaneously, became the Commander of Combined joint Task Force 7, responsible for one of the largest combat forces deployed in US military history. During his command of CJTF-7, LTG Sanchez led the coalition military mission in support of the Coalition Provisional Authority who was responsible for restoring and reconstructing Iraq's infrastructure and security forces. This allowed the interim Iraqi government to re-establish sovereignty on 28 June 2004. Upon the reorganization of command and control structures in Iraq, he commanded Headquarters, Multi-National Forces (Iraq) from 14 May 2004 to 1 July 2004. He returned to Germany where he continued as CG, V Corps until 6 September 2006. He was the longest serving Corps Commander in V Corps history. LTG Sanchez retired on 1 November 2006 after 33 years of service.
LTG Sanchez' professional education includes the Armor Officer basic and advanced courses, the Command and General Staff College, and the US Army War College. He holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics and history from Texas A&I University and a master's degree in operations research and systems analysis engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School.
His awards and badges include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, the Bronze Star Medal with "V" device and oak leaf cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak Leaf clusters, the Joint Service commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster, the National Defense Service Medal with 2 service stars, the Southwest Asia Campaign Medal, the Liberation of Kuwait Medals (Saudi Arabia and Kuwait), the NATO medal and the Master Parachutist Badge.