Highlights of Petraeus' career
. Graduated in 1974 from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., as a second lieutenant.
. Married Holly Knowlton, the West Point superintendent's daughter, two months after graduation.
. Earned master's 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 credited with saving the country from civil war with a surge in U.S. troops.
. Appointed in 2008 as commander of U.S. Central Command, which is based at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, overseeing all U.S. military operations in the greater Middle East, including Afghanistan and Pakistan.