Sidi Mohamed was named crown prince by his father well before he was to become the new monarch. He had learned much about politics from his father and from the various duties he was assigned. In 1994, he was promoted from major colonel to a four-star general and served as coordinator of the 200,000-member Royal Armed Forces while his father remained commander in chief. In July 1999, Hassan II died of a heart attack after a long illness. Sidi Mohamed, who had spent his life in the shadow of his father, was thrust into the role he had been groomed to play for a lifetime.