Listen to the NPR story.
The most famous man in the U.S. Army left the military on Wednesday.
Gen. David Petraeus retired from the Army after 37 years in uniform. A couple of hundred people gathered on a sun-splashed day at Fort Myer, Va., just across the Potomac River from Washington, to pay tribute to the general. And like most of his career, the ceremony was well-scripted.
A half-hour before the ceremony started, a man about Petraeus' height and build — with a chest full of medals and ribbons — walked to the podium and tapped the microphone. From the place where the journalists were gathered, the officer's identify wasn't clear.
I whispered to my colleagues in the press corps, "Is that Gen. Petraeus?"
"Couldn't be," they responded. "Four-star generals don't do their own mic checks."
READ THE FULL STORY ON NPR.COM