►Graduated in 1974 from the US Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., as a second lieutenant.
►Married Holly Knowlton, the West Point superintendent’s daughter, two months after graduation, then served in Italy.
►Earned master’s and doctoral 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.
►Assigned to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., after his Iraq tour to oversee leadership training.
►Tapped to head US forces in Iraq in 2007.
►Appointed commander of US Central Command in 2008, overseeing all US military operations in the greater Middle East.
► U nderwent successful treatment for prostate cancer in 2009 and the next year became the top US commander in Afghanistan.
►Retired from the military in 2011, appointed as CIA director.
SOURCE: Associated Press