Interview with King Abdullah II of Jordan

The Commander’s Briefing

by Samuel M. Katz


Special Operations Report Editor-in-Chief Samuel M. Katz interviews King Abdullah II at the royal residence in Amman.

Born in Amman on January 30, 1962, King Abdullah II is the eldest son of the late King Hussein and Princess Muna Al Hussein. He began his primary education at the Islamic Educational College in Amman and later attended St. Edmund’s School in Surrey, England.  For his secondary education, he attended Eaglebrook School and Deerfield Academy in the U.S.A. He entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (U.K.) in 1980 and was commissioned as second Lieutenant in spring of 81.

He then served as a Reconnaissance Troop Leader in the 13/18th Royal Hussars Regiment (British Army) in the U.K.(and West Germany). From 1985 to 1993 he served mainly in the Armored Corps (3rd Division) in all related command appointments at platoon, company and as battalion second in command positions, until finally commanding the 2ndArmored Battalion, 40th Armored Brigade with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel from January 1992 to January 1993. During this period he attended several military courses in the U.S.and the U.K. including Staff College Camberley (U.K.) 1990-1991.

He also has several attachments to the Special Forces and a year as a tactics instructor with Jordan Army’s Antitank, Cobra Helicopter Wing. In 1993 he was appointed as the Deputy Commander of Jordanian Special Forces and took full command of Jordan’s special operations forces in November 1993.  He commanded these forces till October 1996, when he was instructed to reorganize this and other elite units into the Special Operations Command (SOCCOM). In 1998,as SOCCOM Commander, he was promoted to the rank of Major General and continued this command until the passing away of King Hussein in February 1999…

Click for further reading:  SOR Interview with HM King Abdullah