Four-star Gen. Stanley McChrystal started the day as the man in charge of military operations in Afghanistan.
But his star has faded and McChrystal is now out, fired by President Obama for making inflammatory remarks during a Rolling Stone magazine interview about the administration.
Gen. David Petraeus has been appointed to replace him.
"The conduct represented in the recent article does not meet the standard of a commanding general," Obama said after accepting McChrystal's resignation Wednesday. "[It] undermines [civilian] control that is at the core of democratic system."
While the president thanked McChrystal for his service, he said his conduct eroded trust.
When it comes to conflicts between presidents and generals, history shows that generals never win. Learn more about past confrontations between American presidents and generals here.
Also, click play for more on how McChrystal being ousted could impact the war in Afghanistan with military analyst and investigative journalist Scott Wheeler, following John Jessup's report.
Obama summoned the general to the White House, Wednesday, after Rolling Stone magazine published a revealing interview in which McChrystal and his top aides took shots at the administration.
Speaking about his first encounter with the president, McChystal said he thought Obama looked "uncomfortable and intimidated" by the room full of military brass.
After another meeting, one of McChrystal's advisors commented "the boss was pretty disappointed."
And on the president's national security adviser, retired Gen. Jim Jones, one of McChystal's aides described him as a "clown... stuck in 1985."
"I welcome debate among my team, but I won't tolerate division," Obama said in response to the comments.
Shortly after Obama's announcement, McChrystal released a statement from Kabul saying he supports the president's strategy and tendered his resignation because he had a "desire to see the mission succeed."
Washington has been in shock over McChrystal's remarks to Rolling Stone.
"It's clearly bad judgment," Sen. Jim Webb said.
"I'm troubled by his comments," Sen. Carl Levin added. "I just think that they are out of place."
Replacing McChrystal at such a critical time in the war is risky. McChrystal implemented the new counterinsurgency strategy currently underway and has built a strong relationship with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
"Gen. McChrystal has a very good working strategy in Afghanistan and the Afghan people support Gen. McChrystal and his plans," Afghan presidential spokesman Waheed Omar said.
To complete the mission, the president urged Congress to confirm Petraeus as McChrystal's replacement as quickly as possible.