WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says he has accepted Marine Gen. John Allen’s request to retire from the U.S. military.

That means the White House won’t go forward with Allen’s nomination to lead U.S. and NATO forces in Europe.

Obama says Allen is retiring so he can address family health issues. He’s calling Allen one of the nation’s finest military leaders and a true patriot.

Allen recently left a 19-month command in Afghanistan and was nominated last fall to become the U.S. military’s top soldier in Europe. But that nomination was shelved during a Pentagon investigation into emails Allen exchanged with a civilian woman who was linked to the scandal that forced CIA Director David Petraeus to resign. Allen since has been cleared of wrongdoing.

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