Thomas F. Metz

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Lt. Gen. Thomas F. Metz was designated as the new commander of Multi-National Corps-Iraq, one of two new military commands that "will stand up in Iraq effective May 15, 2004, to replace the current coalition military organization" Combined Joint Task Force 7 (CJTF7). Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, former CJTF7 commander, will command the second command, Multi-National Force-Iraq. [1]

The January 20, 2004, Contra Costa Times had announced that Lt. Gen. Thomas F. Metz left "for Iraq, where he will replace Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez. ... Metz will be responsible for ensuring security against guerrilla forces that have made daily attacks against U.S. soldiers, Iraqi policemen and civilians. He will also join Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, the top civilian official, as one of the faces of the U.S. occupation of Iraq." [2]

Subsequently, on April 30, 2004, Bill Gertz and Rowen Scarborough reported from Inside the Ring that the original plan for Metz to relieve LTG Sanchez, CJTF7 commander, had changed. Since Sanchez is up for his fourth star, he will not be leaving U.S. Central Command.

"Gen. Sanchez is now [4/30/04] in charge of overall operations, paying close attention to big-picture items, such as working out relations between the new civilian government and its security forces, and the American military. Gen. Metz is the No. 2 officer, running day-to-day operations." [3]

This situation has, obviously changed, with Metz now in command of Multi-National Corps-Iraq.

According to his CJTF7 military biography, Metz assumed command of III US Corps at Ft. Hood on February 7, 2003.

On 7 November 2001, LTG Metz assumed command of the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) and Fort Riley. During this time period, LTG Metz was chosen to serve for 4 months as the Chief of Staff, CENTCOM, during Operation Enduring Freedom from October 2002 to January 2003.

LTG Thomas Metz was born in North Carolina, where he lived until enlisting in the Army in June 1966. In August, after BCT at Fort Gordon, Georgia, he entered the United States Military Academy Preparatory School. LTG Metz received a Regular Army Appointment to the United States Military Academy, and he entered in July 1967. Upon graduation from West Point in June 1971, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry.

From March 1972 until January 1975, LTG Metz served as Platoon Leader, Assistant S-3, Scout Platoon Leader, and Combat Support Company Executive Officer with 1st Battalion, 509th Airborne Infantry, in Germany and Italy.

LTG Metz took command of Company C, 10th BCT Battalion, Fort Jackson, South Carolina, in January 1976. He relinquished command in June 1976 to become the Aide-de-Camp for the Commander, Readiness Region VI, at Fort Knox, Kentucky. While at Fort Knox, he commanded C Company, 4th Battalion, 54th Infantry (Mechanized), 194th Armored Brigade, from June 1977 until June 1978.

LTG Metz returned to West Point in June 1981 and was an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department until May 1984. He moved to Fort Benning, Georgia, where he was the S-3 and XO of the 3d Battalion, 7th Infantry (Mechanized); and the S-3, 197th Separate Infantry Brigade (Mechanized). While at Fort Benning, he also served as a Division Chief in the Infantry School's Combat Developments Directorate from May 1986 until June 1987.

Returning to Fort Knox in June 1987, LTG Metz commanded the 4th Battalion, 15th Infantry (Mechanized), 194th Armored Brigade, until July 1989. From June 1990 until June 1992, he served as the G-3, 2d Infantry Division, Republic of Korea.

LTG Metz commanded the 2d Brigade, 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized), from July 1992 to July 1994. He then served as the Division and Fort Riley Chief of Staff until May 1995. After his tour in the 1st Infantry Division, LTG Metz joined the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) and served as Director of the Army's Experimental Force Coordination Cell for the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Hood, Texas, and the Assistant Division Commander for Support for the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized).

In February 1998, LTG Metz was assigned as the Deputy Director for Joint Warfighting Capabilities Assessment, J-8, until June 2000. LTG Metz served as Vice Director for Force Structure, Resources, and Assessment, J-8, The Joint Staff, until November 2001.

LTG Metz holds a Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University. He also holds a professional engineer's license from the Commonwealth of Virginia. His military schools include the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the Command and General Staff College, and the Army War College.

LTG Metz's awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal with 2 Service Stars, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon with Numeral 3, Expert Infantry Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, Ranger Tab, and Belgium Brevet "A" Commando.