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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Texan heads Bin Laden raiders

The commander of the U.S. military unit responsible for killing elusive al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden — Vice Adm. William H. McRaven — is a San Antonio native and graduate of the University of Texas in Austin.

McRaven, 55, earned a bachelor's degree in journalism in 1977, although a campus dean said a computer listing didn't indicate whether the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps member had an interest in the print side of news coverage, broadcast or public relations.
A fellow ROTC member recalled McRaven as eager for military service.

"He was extremely focused on preparing for special forces details," said Curtis Raetz, of McKinney, who majored in engineering at UT, served in the Marine Corps and now works in private business.
'He had drive.'

Raetz, who graduated a year before McRaven, said the ROTC program included required courses such as naval science.

James Gruetzner, who served in the same Navy ROTC batallion as McRaven, told Cox Newspapers, "He had drive. He went on extraordinarily long runs to stay in shape. He was very dedicated."
McRaven's Navy biography states he attended the Naval Postgraduate School and was its first graduate in Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict. In 1995, he wrote a book called Spec Ops: Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare Theory and Practice.

McRaven became commander of the U.S. military's Joint Special Operations Command in 2008.
In that role, he reportedly led the planning and execution of bin Laden's death Sunday at the hand of Navy SEALs, an acronym that stands for Sea, Air and Land.

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