"Franks is a down-to-earth no-nonsense guy. His troops call him a soldier’s General and his associates call him an astute businessman. His grandkids call him Pooh.”
Tommy Franks was born in Wynnewood, Oklahoma and grew up in Midland, Texas. He graduated from Lee High School in Midland in 1963 and attended the University of Texas in Austin for two years. In 1965 he enlisted in the United States Army. He earned his commission as a Second Lieutenant in 1967 as a Distinguished Graduate of the Artillery Officer Candidate School at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma.
In Vietnam, General Franks earned six awards for Valor and three Purple Hearts. That assignment was the start of a long and distinguished career that would take him from one world hot spot to another – from West Germany at the height of the Cold War to the Demilitarized Zone in Korea, to the deserts of Arabia.
In June 2000, he was promoted to 4 Star General and assigned as Commander-in-Chief, United States Central Command. As Commander of CentCom, he was responsible for the United States military in 25 countries in the Middle East and Southwest Asia. Following the attacks on September 11, 2001, General Franks led American and Coalition troops in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. In 2003 he led Operation Iraqi Freedom to remove the dictator Saddam Hussein.
The General’s awards include five Distinguished Service Medals, four Legions of Merit, four Bronze Stars and three Purple Hearts in addition to numerous foreign awards. In May, 2004, he was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) by order of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. President George W. Bush awarded him our Nation’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in December, 2004.
General and Mrs. Franks live on a third generation family ranch in Oklahoma. They raise Angus cattle, Longhorns and buffalo.
General Tommy Franks went to high school with First Lady Laura Bush and his autobiography, American Soldier, debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Seller List.
Born in Wynnewood, Franks chose to retire on his Roosevelt, Oklahoma ranch.