“General Scaparrotti’s most recent assignment as Commander, US Forces Korea, further demonstrated his excellence as a soldier-statesman, skills he will need as he works closely with our most trusted Allies and partners in Europe,” Carter said. “General Scaparrotti is one of the U.S. military’s most accomplished officers and combat leaders, and it is my hope that the Senate will act quickly on his nomination.”
Scaparrotti, a native of Logan, Ohio and a career infantry officer, has commanded forces in Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Rwanda and Liberia, according to an Army biography. Before his assignment in Korea, Scaparrotti served as the director of the Joint Staff, commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Forces and as the commanding general of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division.
A 1978 graduate of West Point, Scaparrotti has a masters from the University of South Carolina and is the recipient of a number of awards including the Combat Infantry Badge and the Defense Distinguished Service Medal.
If confirmed, Scaparrotti would replace U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, who has recently overseen a reinvigoration of NATO as it seeks to reassure its allies in the wake of Russian aggression in Crimea and parts of east Ukraine.
Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. European Command, or EUCOM, has slowly shrunk as war fighting resources have shifted to combat zones in Iraq in Afghanistan. In recent years, however, as concerns about Russia have increased, U.S. troops and equipment have steadily surged back into the region.