Peter W. Chiarelli

Peter W. Chiarelli
Born (1950-03-23) March 23, 1950
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1972–2012
Rank General
Commands held Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army
Multi-National Corps – Iraq
1st Cavalry Division
Battles/wars Iraq War
Awards Defense Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit (3)
Bronze Star

Peter W. Chiarelli (born March 23, 1950)[1] is a retired United States Army general who served as the 32nd Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army from August 4, 2008 to January 31, 2012. He also served as commander, Multi-National Corps – Iraq under General George W. Casey, Jr.. He was the Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense from March 2007 to August 2008. He retired from the U.S. Army on January 31, 2012 after nearly 40 years of service, and was succeeded as Vice Chief of Staff by Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III.

Early life and education

Chiarelli was born in Seattle, Washington on March 23, 1950. He is a Distinguished Military Graduate of Seattle University Army ROTC. Chiarelli was commissioned a second lieutenant in September 1972. Throughout his career, he has served in Army units in the United States, Germany, and Belgium. He has commanded at every level from platoon to corps.


His first assignments were with the 9th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, including: support platoon leader for 3rd Squadron (Air), 5th Cavalry Regiment; squadron assistant intelligence staff officer (S-2); squadron intelligence staff officer (S-2); troop executive officer; and troop commander.[2]

Chiarelli's principal staff assignments were Operations Officer (G-3), 1st Cavalry Division, at Fort Hood, Texas; Executive Assistant and, later, Executive Officer to the Supreme Allied Commander, Commander United States European Command at SHAPE Headquarters, Mons, Belgium; and the Director of Operations, Readiness, and Mobilization (G-3/5/7) at Headquarters, Department of the Army.

He commanded a mechanized infantry battalion and a mechanized infantry brigade at Fort Lewis, Washington; served as the assistant division commander for support in the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas; served as commanding general, 1st Cavalry Division, and led it both in the Iraq War and during Operation Iraqi Freedom II; and served as commanding general of Multi-National Corps – Iraq.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from Seattle University, a Master of Public Administration degree from the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington, and a Master of Arts degree in national security strategy from Salve Regina University. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Naval Command and Staff College and the National War College.

Chiarelli has worked to reduce suicide rates in the Army. Out of concerns for stigma, he began using the term posttraumatic stress, dropping the word "disorder" from the medical name posttraumatic stress disorder. His term had subsequently become standard use in the armed forces, but was not taken up by the medical community. The name "posttraumatic stress injury" has been proposed by some psychiatrists in 2012, and is endorsed by Chiarelli.[3]

Chiarelli is currently CEO of One Mind, which is dedicated to benefiting all affected by brain illness and injury through fostering fundamental changes – using open science principles and creating global public-private partnerships among governmental, corporate, scientific and philanthropic communities – that will radically accelerate the development and implementation of improved diagnostics, treatments and cures – while eliminating the stigma that comes with mental illness. [4]

Awards and decorations

Combat Action Badge
Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge
Army Staff Identification Badge
1st Cavalry Division Combat Service Identification Badge
33rd Armor Regiment Distinctive Unit Insignia[5]
4 Overseas Service Bars
Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with two bronze oak leaf clusters)
Distinguished Service Medal (U.S. Army)
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit (with two bronze oak leaf clusters)
Bronze Star Medal
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal (with four bronze oak leaf clusters)
Army Achievement Medal (with one bronze oak leaf cluster)
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Army Superior Unit Award
Department of State Distinguished Honor Award
National Defense Service Medal (with two bronze service stars)
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal (with three bronze service stars)
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Army Overseas Service Ribbon (with award numeral "3")
NATO Medal for Yugoslavia

The Hero of Military Medicine Award was presented May 4, 2011, to Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli for his efforts to help Soldiers with traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress. The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine (HJF) presented the award at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., during a HJF Center for Public-Private Partnerships (CP3) event.


This article contains information from the United States Army and is in the public domain.

Further reading

  • Cloud, David; Greg Jaffe (2009). The Fourth Star: Four Generals and the Epic Struggle for the Future of the United States Army. Random House. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Richard Cody
Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army
Succeeded by
Lloyd Austin
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