Pentagon Honors Gen. Shalikashvili
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Gen. John Shalikashvili, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was praised Monday as the embodiment of the American dream, a Polish-born immigrant who rose to the highest ranks of the U.S. military and helped redraw the map of the post-Cold War world.
``General Shali’s preferred tool was a brush, not a hammer. With bold strokes, ... he helped bring about a new Europe,″ Defense Secretary William Cohen said as a photo collection of the retired four-star Army general was unveiled at the Pentagon.
Cohen pointed to the general’s work on expanding the NATO alliance through its Partnership for Peace program for nations in Central Europe and his role in U.S. military operations in Haiti, maintaining sanctions against Iraq and bringing peace to Bosnia.
``There can be no higher salute than this,″ Cohen said of the general’s record.
The photos of Shalikashvili, who retired in 1997, hang in a Pentagon corridor dedicated to honoring the chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The retired general was the first naturalized American, the first draftee and the first graduate of Officer Candidate School to reach the nation’s top military post.
Noting the presence of such military heroes as Omar Bradley among the group, Shalikashvili said, ``To have your photo hang on this wall, here with these other greats, is a very special thrill.″