Susilo Yudhoyono (born September 9, 1949), Indonesian retired military general and statesman, is the sixth President of Indonesia, and the first to be elected directly by voters. Yudhoyono won the presidency in September 2004 in the second round of the Indonesian presidential election, in which he defeated incumbent President Megawati Sukarnoputri. He was sworn into office on 20 October 2004, together with Jusuf Kalla as Vice President.
Yudhoyono was born in Pacitan, East Java, the son of Raden Soekotjo, an Army officer, and Siti Habibah. He graduated from the Indonesian Military Academy in 1973, and received the prestigious Adhi Makayasa Medal as the best graduate of the year. He received his PhD in agricultural economics from the Bogor Institute of Agriculture on 3 October 2004, two days before his presidential victory was announced. He married Kristiani Herawati, the third daughter of an army commander, General Sarwo Edhi Wibowo, who played a role in defeating the alleged coup d'état attempt by the Communist Party of Indonesia in 1965.
During his time as the commander of 305th Battalion 2nd Infantry Platoon in 1976, Yudhoyono was assigned to East Timor, and had several tours of duty there since. Like many other Indonesian officers involved in the occupation of East Timor, he has been accused of war crimes, but has never been charged with any specific act. He was once seen as a protégé of the former Armed Forces chief, General Wiranto, who was then also a presidential candidate, but severed his relations with Wiranto when he decided to run for President.
As an Army officer, Yudhoyono was regularly assigned to study in the United States, starting from Airborne School and U.S. Army Rangers education in 1976 to U.S. Army's Infantry Officer Advanced Course in 1982 and 1984 to U.S. Command and General Staff College in 1991. He also gained an MA in business management from Webster University in 1991. He was Indonesia's Chief Military Observer of United Nation Peacekeeping Force in Bosnia in 1995-96. He later held territorial commands in Jakarta and in southern Sumatra. He was appointed Chief of the Armed Forces Social and Political Affairs Staff in 1997, and was known in the media as "the thinking general" due to his popular ideas and concepts in reforming military and the nation. As a media commentator has put it, "General Yudhoyono has spent more time in classrooms than in battlefields." He retired from active service on April 1, 2000, due to his appointment as a minister.