|Birth name||Robert Stiles Harward Jr.|
1956/1957 (age 61–62)|
Newport, Rhode Island, U.S.
|Service/||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1975–2013|
|Unit||United States Navy SEALs|
Deputy Commander, USCENTCOM|
SEAL Team 3
Naval Special Warfare Group 1
Task Force K-Bar
Task Force 561
NSC Director of Strategy and Defense Issues
War in Afghanistan|
Defense Distinguished Service Medal (3)|
Defense Superior Service Medal (4)
Robert Stiles Harward, Jr. (born 1956/1957), known as Bob Harward, is a retired United States Navy SEAL and a former Deputy Commander of the United States Central Command, under the leadership command of General James Mattis. He is currently a defense industry executive working for Lockheed Martin. He also served as the Deputy Commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command and previously commanded Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435.
After the resignation of Michael T. Flynn, U.S. President Donald Trump offered him the position of National Security Advisor on February 14, 2017. He declined the President's offer on February 16. While Harward cited family commitments as his reason for refusing the role, news sources reported that Harward was unable to agree with Trump over his scope to make his own appointments to his team.
Early life and education
Harward was born into a Navy family in Newport, Rhode Island. During his teenage years, Harward's father was advising the pre-revolutionary Iranian military and the family lived in Tehran, Iran. While attending Tehran American School, Harward played sports against Iranian basketball, wrestling, and track teams; as well as other Tehran American School and International School football teams, was popular with his classmates and became familiar with the people and culture of Iran. He graduated from the Tehran American School in Iran in 1974. He reportedly speaks Farsi. He graduated from the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, and then received his bachelor's degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1979.
Harward is also a graduate of the College of Naval Command and Staff at the Naval War College as well as the Armed Forces Staff College. He served as a federal executive fellow at RAND, and completed the Foreign Policy Program (Seminar XXI) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Harward reported to Surface Warfare Officer School in Newport with follow-on orders to the USS Scott (DDG-995). After completion of a South American deployment in support of Unitas XXIV, he was ordered to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training (BUD/S) where he graduated as the honor man of Class 128 in July 1984. As a Navy SEAL officer Harward served as platoon commander in SEAL Team 3 and then completed selection and training course for assignment to Naval Special Warfare Development Group in 1988 where he served as assault team leader and operations officer. Harward later earned a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. Harward served staff and command tours including Naval Special Warfare task group commander for Operation Desert Thunder in Kuwait; Joint Special Operations task force commander for Operation Rugged Nautilus; deputy commander of the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force in support of Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia.; Special Warfare Plans officer for Commander Amphibious Forces U.S. Seventh Fleet; Aide-de-Camp to Commander-in-Chief, USSOCOM; executive officer of Naval Special Warfare Unit 1 and commanding officer SEAL Team 3
As a Navy Captain, Harward assumed command of Naval Special Warfare Group 1 (NSWG 1) in August 2001 and deployed shortly after September 11, 2001, to Afghanistan. He commanded a special multinational task force CJSOTF-South, later renamed Task Force K-Bar and directed special reconnaissance and direct action missions throughout the country. In October 2002, Harward deployed as Commander, Task Force 561 where he commanded Naval Special Warfare Task Group Central in Iraq. His forces included all the assets in the Naval Special Warfare inventory as well as forces from the Polish GROM, the United Kingdom Royal Marines and the Kuwaiti Navy.
Harward relinquished command of NSWG 1 in August 2003 and reported to the Executive Office of the President at the White House. He served on the National Security Council staff as the director of Strategy and Defense Issues. In April 2005, Harward was assigned to the new National Counterterrorism Center in Washington, as the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff representative to the Senior Interagency Strategy Team. From June 2006 to July 2008, Harward served as the Deputy Commanding General, Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and he served multiple combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. He considered himself proud of helping to improving the situation of women on his duty.
On November 3, 2008, Harward assumed the position of Deputy Commander, United States Joint Forces Command.
In 2011, Harward was reappointed to the rank of Vice Admiral and assigned to the position of Deputy Commander, United States Central Command. In October 2013, he was replaced by VADM Mark I. Fox. On August 19, 2013, Harward was presented the Distinguished Graduate Leadership Award by the U.S. Naval War College. Established in 1996 by the NWC Foundation, the award honors NWC graduates who have attained positions of prominence in the field of national security. In January 2014, he became the Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin United Arab Emirates.
Following the resignation of Michael T. Flynn as National Security Advisor on February 13, 2017, journalists identified Harward as one of the principal candidates to replace him. President Donald Trump offered him the position on February 14, 2017. Harward declined the position on February 16. Media reports cited sources indicating that Harward was unable to agree with Trump over making his own appointments to his team.
Awards and decorations
- "Robert Harward turns down Trump's national security adviser offer". BBC. February 17, 2017. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
- Robert Garnard (January 8, 2010). "Joint Task Force 435 Stands Up, Directs Afghanistan Detainee Operations". Dvidshub. Archived from the original on January 20, 2010.
- Elizabeth McLaughlin (February 17, 2017). "Robert Harward: Everything you need to know about possible national security adviser". ABC News.
- Gal Perl Finkel, US NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER FACES CHALLENGES AT HOME AND ABROAD, The Jerusalem Post, February 22, 2017.
- Sciutto, Jim; Browne, Ryan; Tapper, Jake. "Harward says no to national security adviser role". CNN Politics. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
- Torbati, Yeganeh; Ali, Idrees (2017-02-15). "Trump's choice for national security adviser had early exposure to Iran". Reuters. Retrieved 2017-02-15.
- "Robert Harward: Everything you need to know about possible national security adviser". ABC News. February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
- Dan Petty. "Leadership Biographies". Navy.mil. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
- "TBO.com". Tboblogs.com. May 4, 2011. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
- "U.S. Naval War College | Harward Receives Distinguished Graduate Leadership Award". Usnwc.edu. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
- "Bloomberg Executive Profile". Bloomberg. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
- Costa, Robert (February 14, 2017). "Harward emerges as front-runner to replace Flynn following talks". Washington Post. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
- "White House Names Possible Shortlist for Flynn Replacement". New York Times. Associated Press. February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
- "Trump reportedly offered Michael Flynn's job to a retired admiral who told Trump he needed to 'think it over'". Business Insider. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
- Sevastopulo, Demetri (February 16, 2017). "Robert Harward turns down Trump's national security offer". Financial Times. Reuters. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
- Sciutto, Jim; Browne, Ryan; Tapper, Jake. "Harward says no to national security adviser role". CNN Politics. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
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