Tommy Franks Fast Facts

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Here is a look at the life of Tommy Franks, retired four-star Army General.


Birth date: June 17, 1945

Birth place: Wynnewood, Oklahoma

Birth name: Tommy Ray Franks

Father: Ray Franks, mechanic

Mother: Lorene “Pete” (Parker) Franks

Marriage: Cathryn (Carley) Franks (1969-present)

Children: Jacqueline

Education: University of Texas, Arlington, B.B.A., 1969-1971 (summa cum laude); Armed Forces Staff College, 1973-1976; Army War College and Shippensburg University, 1984; Shippensburg University, M.P.A., 1985

Military Service: US Army, 1965-2003, four-star general

Other Facts

Grew up in Midland, Texas, and attended Robert E. Lee High School, the same high school as former first lady, Laura Bush.

Served three tours in Vietnam and rose through the Army ranks to become commander of US Central Command.


1965 - Joins the Army.

1967 - Is commissioned as a second lieutenant as a graduate of the Artillery Officer Candidate School in Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

1967-1968 - Vietnam, 9th Infantry Division, 2nd Battalion, 4th Field Artillery: serves as forward observer, aerial observer and assistant S-3. Also serves with the 5th Battalion, 60th Infantry as fire support officer.

1968 - Cannon battery commander, Fort Sill, Artillery Training Center.

1973 - Commander of the 1st Squadron Howitzer Battery and Squadron S-3, Second Armored Calvary Regiment, West Germany. Also commands 84th Armored Engineer Company and serves as Regimental Assistant S-3.

1976 - Pentagon, Investigations Division, Army Inspector General.

1977 - Executive Assistant, Office of the Chief of Staff, Army and serves on the Congressional Activities Team.

1981 - Commander, 2nd Battalion, 78th Field Artillery, West Germany.

1987 - Commander and Chief of Staff, Division Artillery, First Calvary Division, Fort Hood Texas.

1990-1991 - Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Assistant Division Commander, First Calvary Division.

1991-1992 - Assistant Commandant of Field Artillery School at Fort Sill.

1995-1997 - Commander, Second Infantry (Warrior) Division, Korea.

May 1997 - Commander, Third (US) Army/Army Forces Central Command, Atlanta.

June 2000 - Receives fourth general’s star and is named Commander in Chief, US Central Command.

2001-2003 - Leads the US war efforts in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

July 7, 2003 - Steps down as Commander in Chief, US Central Command.

August 1, 2003 - Retires from the Army.

August 11, 2003 - Starts the consulting firm Franks & Associates LLC.

May 25, 2004 - By order of Queen Elizabeth II is made Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

August 2004 - His autobiography, “American Soldier,” debuts at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

December 14, 2004 - Is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush.

2005-2007 - Serves on the OSI Restaurant Partners, Inc. (Outback Steakhouse) board of directors.

December 2007 - Opens the General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute and Museum in downtown Hobart, Oklahoma.

2005-2009 - Serves on the Bank of America Board of Directors.

March 26, 2008-February 14, 2014 - Serves on the CEC Entertainment, Inc. (Chuck E. Cheese) Board of Directors.

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