Gregory D. Gadson
|Gregory D. Gadson|
Col. Gadson at a Mount Vernon town meeting in 2012.
February 19, 1966 |
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1989–2014|
|Unit||32nd Field Artillery Regiment, U.S. Army|
|Commands held||US Army Garrison Fort Belvoir
2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery
4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division
|Battles/wars||Operation Desert Storm
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
|Awards||Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star (3 awards)
Meritorious Service Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Gregory D. Gadson (born February 19, 1966) is a retired colonel in the United States Army and the former Garrison Commander of the U.S. Army Fort Belvoir . He is also a bilateral above-the-knee amputee, occasional actor, and motivational speaker. He served in the U.S. Army for more than 20 years as a field artillery officer and served on active duty for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operation Joint Forge, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Education and military career
Gadson attended th United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, graduating in 1989. He also holds a master’s degree in information systems from Webster University and a master’s degree in policy management from Georgetown University. He is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College and the Advanced Field Artillery Officers Course and in 2010, he became an Army War College Fellow at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C.
- Commander, U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Belvoir, Virginia
- Director, Army Wounded Warrior Program, Alexandria, Virginia
- 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery.
- 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division (Fort Riley).
- Battalion Fire Direction Officer for 5th Battalion, 18th Field Artillery, III Corps at Fort Sill.
- Division Targeting Officer, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 82nd Airborne Division Artillery.
- Battalion Adjutant, 3rd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment.
- Battalion Fire Support Officer, 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment.
- Commander, Battery C, 3rd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment.
- Commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 82nd Airborne Division for the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg.
- Personnel Distribution Officer and Human Resources Commander, Alexandria, Virginia.
- Battalion Operations Officer, 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery.
- Operations Officer, 25th Infantry Division, Executive Officer.
- Special Assistant to the Commanding General, United States Army Pacific at Fort Shafter.
- Platoon Fire Direction Officer, Firing Battery Platoon Leader (Desert Shield/Desert Storm)
- Chief of Operations, Multinational Division North, Bosnia-Herzegovina, (Stabilization Force XI), 25th Infantry Division (Light)
- 25th Infantry Division Artillery, Forward Operating Base Salerno, Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom V)
On the night of May 7, 2007, while returning from a memorial service for two soldiers from his brigade, he lost both his legs and severely injured his right arm to a roadside bomb in Baghdad. He became one of the first military personnel to use a next-generation powered prosthetic knee with technology to make it possible for amputees to walk with confidence and with a more natural gait.
Gadson played football at West Point between 1985 and 1988, wearing the No. 98 jersey and serving as co-captain. In 2007, he was present when the New York Giants beat the Washington Redskins at FedExField at the invitation of West Point classmate Mike Sullivan, who was then on the coaching staff of the New York Giants. This win was the beginning of a 10-game road winning streak and came after Gadson had made an inspirational speech to the team. The streak culminated in the Giants winning Super Bowl XLII. and in recognition for his contribution, Gadson received a specially minted Super Bowl ring.
Gadson made his acting debut in Battleship, a 2012 American science fiction naval war film, as Lieutenant Colonel Mick Canales, playing a war veteran who regains his appetite for the fight when Oahu is threatened by an alien attack. Director Peter Berg, having seen news articles about Gadson, decided to cast him as an Army officer trying to recover from the loss of his legs.
Gadson has been an avid photographer for many years. His work has been most recently been featured prominently in Coming Home: Journey, Community, Dialog, a public art project based in New York City that seeks to encourage communication between civilians and those who have served in the US military.
- Welcome to Fort Belvoir Home Page!
- Wallace, Jennifer. "LEADERSHIP SYMPOSIUM: USMC commandant among speakers - The Citadel - Charleston, SC". citadel.edu.
- "Fort Belvoir Command Group". Fort Belvoir Public Affairs Office. Retrieved 2014-06-21.
- "Lt Col Greg Gadson gets Power Knee". Waronterrornews.typepad.com. May 1, 2009. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
- "Lieutenant colonel Greg Gadson is Giants' inspirational co-captain". NY Daily News. New York. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
- Rutherford, John (May 1, 2008). "‘Super Bowl ring minted for a true giant’". NBC News. Archived from the original on April 19, 2012. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
- Rollings, Grant (April 5, 2012). "Rihanna movie’s bionic hero". The Sun. London. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
- "Coming Home Journey Community and Dialog". Coming Home Journey Community and Dialog.