, 60, the Iraq and Afghanistan war general who went on to lead the CIA until he announced Friday that he resigned because he had been carrying on an extramarital affair:
— Graduated in 1974 from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., as a second lieutenant committed to a career in the infantry.
— Married Holly Knowlton, the West Point superintendent's daughter, two months after graduation, then then served in Italy with a parachute infantry unit.
— Earned masters and doctorate degrees from Princeton in the 1980s and taught international relations at West Point.
— Rose through the Army ranks in a series of assignments, including executive assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and stints in Haiti and Bosnia.
— Led the 101st Airborne Division across the Iraqi desert at the beginning of the 2003 war, was promoted to three-star general and put in charge of training the new Iraqi army.
— Assigned to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., after his Iraq tour to oversee leadership training, wrote a manual on how to fight a counterinsurgency campaign.
— Tapped to head U.S. forces in Iraq in 2007 and is widely credited with saving the country from civil war by orchestrating a surge in U.S. troops.
— Appointed commander of U.S. Central Command in 2008, overseeing all U.S. military operations in the greater Middle East, including Afghanistan and Pakistan.
— Underwent successful treatment for prostate cancer in 2009 and a year later became the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.
— Retired from the military in 2011 and appointed as CIA director.