|H. Hugh Shelton|
General Henry H. Shelton, U.S. Army
January 2, 1942 |
Tarboro, North Carolina
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Commands held||Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
Special Operations Command
XVIII Airborne Corps
82nd Airborne Division
Operation Uphold Democracy
|Awards||Defense Distinguished Service Medal (4)
Army Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Bronze Star (4, with "V" Device)
Combat Infantryman Badge
Military Free Fall Parachutist Badge
Special Forces Tab
Congressional Gold Medal
|Other work||Chairman, Board of Directors, Red Hat Corporation
Director, Anheuser Busch
Director, Anteon International
Director, Protective Products of America (PPA.TO)
Early life, family and education
Born in Tarboro, North Carolina, Shelton was raised just outside the small town of Speed, North Carolina. North Carolina Highway 122, which runs through Speed to Hobgood, North Carolina (right past the homestead he was raised on), was later named "General Henry Hugh Shelton Hwy" in his honor. Shelton attended North Carolina State University and was a member of Pershing Rifles. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in textile engineering while earning his Army commission through ROTC training. Shelton's further education includes a Master of Science degree in political science from Auburn University at Montgomery in 1973 as well as studies at the Air Command and Staff College and the National War College. Shelton married Carolyn L. Johnson in 1963 and have three sons together. In 2002 he underwent spinal surgery.
Shelton served two tours of duty in Vietnam with the 5th Special Forces Group, and with the 173rd Airborne Brigade, followed by a series of command and staff assignments. Following the Gulf War, Shelton commanded the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg in his home state of North Carolina. In 1993, he was given command of XVIII Airborne Corps. Shelton led the Joint Task Force responsible for Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti in 1994. In 1996, Shelton, a Special Forces soldier, was promoted to the rank of General and the position of Commander in Chief of United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM). He was the first Graduate of the U.S. Army Special Forces Program to command United States Special Operations Command.
Upon the retirement of John M. Shalikashvili, Shelton was appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on October 1, 1997. Shelton led the planning of the Kosovo War in 1999 during his time in office. Later during his time in that office he coined the phrase "Dover test", testing the support for a war based on the reaction of the people after seeing American casualties returning at the Dover Air Force Base. During the events of September 11, 2001, Shelton was on a plane traveling to a NATO meeting in Europe, but turned back and returned to Washington. Upon Shelton's end of term, President George W. Bush nominated then-Vice Chairman Air Force General Richard Myers who was sworn in on October 1, 2001.
In 2002 Shelton founded the General Hugh Shelton Leadership Center at North Carolina State University. The center was created to "inspire, educate, and develop values-based leaders, both locally and globally, committed to personal integrity, professional ethics, and selfless service."
In his retirement, Shelton joined the Board of Directors of Red Hat Corporation in April 2003, and was elected that board's chairman in 2010. He also holds directorships at Anheuser Busch, Anteon International and Protective Products of America (PPA.TO). At his alma mater of North Carolina State University, the General Hugh Shelton Leadership Center was founded in 2002 and grants scholarships to young men and women whom are committed to personal integrity, professional ethics, and selfless service.
Shelton also served as an advisor to Senator John Edwards' presidential campaign from 2003-2004. Shelton created a minor controversy for 2004 Democratic presidential candidate, retired U.S. Army General Wesley Clark, a subordinate to Shelton during the 1999 Kosovo military actions, when he stated: "I will tell you the reason [Clark] came out of Europe early had to do with integrity and character issues, things that are very near and dear to my heart. […] I'll just say Wes won't get my vote," casting doubt upon the presidential contender's legitimacy.
On March 1, 2008, General Shelton announced his endorsement of Senator Hillary Clinton for the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary, stating, "I’ve been with Senator Clinton when she has been with our military men and women. I know from those experiences that she understands the demands and sacrifice of military life. I am confident she will always put the readiness and well being of our troops first. She is ready to be Commander-in-Chief." General Shelton was the second Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to endorse Senator Clinton, the first being General John Shalikashvili.
On October 12, 2010, General Shelton published his autobiography, "Without Hesitation: The Odyssey of an American Warrior", along with coauthors Ron Levinson and Malcolm McConnell. An excerpt tells the story of a high-ranking Clinton Cabinet member proposing that General Shelton intentionally allow an American pilot to be killed by the Iraqis to have an excuse to retaliate and go to war. The book also tells of Bill Clinton's tearful confession to General Shelton; a time during the Clinton administration when a close Clinton aide lost possession of the "biscuit" (top secret presidential nuclear launch authorization codes); details of a contentious Camp David meeting among President George W. Bush and his National Security Council immediately after 9/11, where internal battle lines were drawn. His book also says there were multiple attempts to kill Osama bin Laden that were shot down by Madeleine Albright.
On October 24, 2010, General Shelton appeared on This Week with Christiane Amanpour, on December 6, 2010 appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and on December 30, 2010 appeared on The Charlie Rose Show on PBS and Bloomberg TV, to promote the publication of his memoir Without Hesitation: The Odyssey of an American Warrior.
On October 20, 2012, General Shelton was honored at the 6th Annual Brian & Kendra's Bluegrass Party in Speed, NC. He was presented with a Distinguished Achievements plaque and a road side display at the entrance of Speed, NC honoring General Shelton's home town and acknowledgement of his achievements.
Shelton and his wife, Carolyn J. Shelton, established the Hugh and Carolyn Shelton Military Neurotrauma Foundation in 2005 to fund research into traumatic brain injury among military personnel.
Warning that even Fort Bragg could be harmed by budget cuts, Hugh Shelton stated:
"Doing more with less is great for sissies and cowards. Standing up for what's right is what great leaders do."
Decorations and badges
General Shelton has been decorated for service, to include:
- "Biography of Henry Hugh Shelton". Associated Press; The Dispatch. 1994-09-21. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
- "Who Did That Sign Say?" p. 4 Archived 27 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- Stout, David (1997-09-17). "Man in the News: Henry Hugh Shelton; General Who Sets Pace". NY Times. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
- "Ex-Joint Chiefs chair undergoes spinal surgery". CNN. 2002-05-29. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
- Stout, David; (1997) pg.1
- "Time to take the Dover test". CNN. 2003-11-03. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
- "Larry King Live". http://www.patriotresource.com/wtc/federal/1001/shelton.html. 2001-10-01. CNN. Missing or empty
- "General Hugh Shelton Elected Chairman of Red Hat Board of Directors". Red Hat, INc. 30 August 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
- Alan M. Wolf (30 August 2010). "Red Hat names Gen. Shelton as chairman". News & Observer (Raleigh). Retrieved 31 August 2010.
- Arkin, William (2003-12-07). "The General Unease With Wesley Clark". LA Times. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
- "Los Altos Town Crier - Gen. Shelton shocks Celebrity Forum, says he won't support Clark for president". Losaltosonline.com. 2003-09-24. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
- "General Hugh Shelton - News". Hughshelton.com. 2010-08-30. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
- "Bill Clinton Wept Over the Monica Lewinsky Scandal - Washington Whispers (usnews.com)". Politics.usnews.com. 2010-10-04. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
- Lauren Frayer Contributor (1941-12-07). "General: Clinton Lost 'The Biscuit' - Nuclear Codes". Aolnews.com. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
- Tencer, Daniel (2010-10-13). "Ex-top soldier: Iraq war ‘fiasco’ due to Rumsfeld's ‘lies’". Raw Story. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
- "100827-02 Gen. Hugh Shelton statue dedicated at ASOM". News.soc.mil. 2010-08-27. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
- "Gen. Shelton On Jon Stewart: Extended Interview With Opinions On WikiLeaks, Iran, DADT". Huffingtonpost.com. 2010-12-07. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "The Hugh and Carolyn Shelton Military Neurotrauma Foundation". The Hugh and Carolyn Shelton Military Neurotrauma Foundation. Retrieved June 27, 2015.
- Brooks, Drew. "Ret. Gen. Hugh Shelton: Standing up for what's right is what great leaders do". FayObserver.com. Fayetteville Observer. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
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|Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff