Richard D. Clarke
This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (September 2018)
Richard D. Clarke
|Born||July 23, 1962|
|Service/||United States Army|
|Years of service||1984–present|
|Commands held||United States Special Operations Command|
82nd Airborne Division
75th Ranger Regiment
War in Afghanistan
Operation Inherent Resolve
|Awards||Defense Distinguished Service Medal|
Army Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Defense Superior Service Medal (3)
Legion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star Medal (5)
Richard Douglas Clarke Jr. (born July 23, 1962) is a United States Army four-star general who currently serves as the 12th commander of United States Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. He assumed his current assignment on March 29, 2019. He previously served as Director of Operations, Joint Special Operations Command on Operation Neptune Spear.
General Richard D. Clarke currently serves as the 12th Commander of United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida since March 29, 2019.
Clarke was born in West Germany and raised in an Army family. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, and commissioned into the Infantry Branch in 1984. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from West Point and a Master of Business Administration from Benedictine College. He is a distinguished graduate of the National War College and earned a master's degree in Security and Strategic Studies.
Clarke has led soldiers at all levels in Airborne, Ranger, Mechanized and Light Infantry units in five different divisions, the 173rd Airborne Brigade, and the 75th Ranger Regiment in the United States, Europe, Iraq and Afghanistan. Clarke spent eight years in the 75th Ranger Regiment as a company commander from 1994 to 1996, then as a battalion commander from 2004 to 2006 and regimental commander from 2007 to 2009. He also served as battalion commander of 3rd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division from 2002 to 2004. His most recent assignments include serving as the Director for Strategic Plans and Policy (J5), Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. from 2017 to 2019. General Clarke's other assignments as a general office include: Deputy Commanding General for Operations, 10th Mountain Division from 2011 to 2013; the 74th Commandant of Cadets, United States Military Academy at West Point from 2013 to 2014; and the Commander of the 82nd Airborne Division from 2014 to 2016.
Clarke's deployments while serving in the aforementioned positions include Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operation Joint Guardian in Macedonia, three deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, four deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and one deployment as the commander of the Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command – Operation Inherent Resolve.
Awards and decorations
|Combat Infantryman Badge with Star (denoting 2nd award)|
| Expert Infantryman Badge
|Master Parachutist Badge with background trimming|
|Military Free Fall Parachutist Badge|
|Air Assault Badge|
|Irish Parachutist Badge in gold|
|United States Special Operations Command Badge|
|75th Ranger Regiment Combat Service Identification Badge|
|75th Ranger Regiment Distinctive Unit Insignia|
|9 Overseas Service Bars|
- "Register of Graduates and Former Cadets, United States Military Academy". 6 September 1986 – via Google Books.
- "General Richard D. Clarke Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command Official Biography" (PDF). Retrieved December 10, 2019.
Raymond A. Thomas
| Commander, United States Special Operations Command