Charles Cleveland

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Charles T. Cleveland is a major general in the United States Army, who commands the Special Operations Component of United States Central Command.


He is the convening authority for controversial charges of prisoner abuse placed against three United States Navy SEALs in Iraq. A Fox News story said charges surround the SEALs’ handling of Ahmed Hashim Abed, who is believed to be connected to the 2004 slaying of four U.S. security contractors in Fallujah.[1] Headed by Representative Dan Burton, 40 Members of Congress have sent a letter to MG Cleveland, copied President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, the charges to be dropped. [2]

Iraq War

When it was still assumed that U.S. forces could operate from Turkey, He established Task Force Viking, to be Joint Special Operations Task Force-North. Its core was the 10th Special Forces Group, under COL Charles Cleveland. While still at Fort Carson, Colorado, it was composed of:[3]

  • 10th Special Forces Group Headquarters
  • 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the 10th Group
  • 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group
  • 404th Civil Affairs Battalion
  • D Company/96th Civil Affairs Battalion
  • Task Force 7 Special Boat Service (UK)
  • 352nd Special Operations Wing (USAF)

Elements of:

During the Iraq War, he was commander of the 10th Special Forces Group. The 10th Group eventually raised 70,000 Kurdish fighters that interfered with the southern movement of Iraqi Army units. [4]

In operations, TF Viking had an unprecedented number of conventional units under its operational or tactical control: [5]

  • 173rd Airborne Brigade
  • Task Force 1-63rd Armor (1st Infantry Division)
  • 2-15th Field Artillery Headquarters (10th Mountain Division)
  • 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit

The scope of this command would normally be assigned to a brigadier general or major general.


  1. Gidget Fuentes (24 November 2009), "SEALs charged in alleged assault of detainee", Navy Times
  2. 40 Congressmen Join Rep. Burton In Asking Brass To Drop Charges Against The Navy SEAL Three, Rep. Dan Burton, 10 December 2009
  3. Isaac J. Peltier (Academic Year 2004-2005), Surrogate Warfare: The Role of U.S. Army Special Forces, School of Advanced Military Studies, Command and General Staff College, pp. 26-27
  4. Peltier, p. 7
  5. Michael D. Hastings (2005), The Integration of Conventional Forces and Special Operation Forces, Master's Thesis, Command and General Staff College