A rainy day in San Francisco set Bennet Sacolick on course to become an Army general, one of the nation’s top special operators and a driving force in the nation’s counter-terrorism policy.

But after 35 years in uniform, including time in command of Delta Force and the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, Sacolick only recently took time to reflect on that career.

Lt. Gen. Sacolick, most recently the director for strategic operational planning at the National Counterterrorism Center, retired July 1.

His last act in uniform was speaking to a Special Forces graduation in Fayetteville late last month.

Now he and his wife, Joyce, have moved back to Fayetteville for a new chapter in their marriage.

Sacolick plans to make up for more than two decades of constant deployments by staying in one place and working on the couple’s dream home.

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It’s a marked change of pace for a man who, for the latter half of his career, has been focused on fighting terrorism across the globe.

“I started as a private. I’m a three-star general. I did something right. But I was a bad husband,” Sacolick said.

Even before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Sacolick said he often was deployed nine months out of the year. After 9/11, he was gone for three of the first four years, serving in either Afghanistan or Iraq.

“And she never wavered,” he said of his wife. “She always adjusted so well. She’s been through a lot. Now this is her time.”

Passing the baton

In his speech to roughly 100 new Special Forces soldiers at the Crown Arena on June 23, Sacolick said the nation’s counter-terrorism mission was now in their hands. He said they would be well-prepared and better positioned to make an impact in the fight than any other force in the world.

Read More: Fayetteville Observer

Featured Image – Major General Bennet Sacolick, U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School – DVIDS