Robert Harward

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Robert Harward
Harward 2011.jpg
Birth nameRobert Stiles Harward Jr.
Born1956/1957 (age 63–64)[1]
Newport, Rhode Island, U.S.
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1975–2013
RankUS-O9 insignia.svg Vice Admiral
UnitUnited States Navy SEALs
Commands heldDeputy Commander, USCENTCOM
SEAL Team 3
Naval Special Warfare Group 1
Task Force K-Bar
Task Force 561
NSC Director of Strategy and Defense Issues
Battles/warsWar in Afghanistan
Iraq War
AwardsDefense 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 with CentCom Ambassador Jill Kelley. He is currently a defense industry executive working for Lockheed Martin.[2] He also served as the Deputy Commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command and previously commanded Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435.[3][4]

After the resignation of Michael T. Flynn, U.S. President Donald Trump offered him the position of National Security Advisor on February 14, 2017.[5] 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.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Harward was born into a Navy family in Newport, Rhode Island. During his teenage years, Harward's father advised 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.[7] He graduated from the Tehran American School in Iran in 1974. He reportedly speaks Farsi.[8] 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).[9]


Harward in Afghanistan, 2011

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 received orders to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training (BUD/S) at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado where he graduated as the honor man of BUD/S class 128 in July 1984. Following SEAL Tactical Training (STT) and completion of a six month probationary period, he received the 1130 designator as a Naval Special Warfare Officer, entitled to wear the Special Warfare insignia. As a Navy SEAL officer Harward served as platoon commander in SEAL Team THREE and then completed a specialized selection and training course for assignment to Naval Special Warfare Development Group in 1988. Harward served as assault team leader and operations officer during which time he planned, rehearsed and operated during classified operations. 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.;[9] 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 THREE.

As a Navy Captain, Harward assumed command of Naval Special Warfare Group ONE (NSWG 1) in August 2001 and deployed shortly after September 11 attacks, 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.[9] 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 improve the situation of women on his duty.[10]

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 led by General James Mattis.[11] 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.[12] Harward retired in November 2013 after 34 years of military service.

In January 2014, he became the Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin United Arab Emirates.[13]

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.[14][15] President Donald Trump offered him the position on February 14, 2017.[16] Harward declined the position on February 16.[17] Media reports cited sources indicating that Harward was unable to agree with Trump over making his own appointments to his team.[18]

On September 4, 2019, Patriot One Technologies Inc., a threat detection technology company, announced that Harward had joined the company's Senior Advisory Board.[19]

Awards and decorations[edit]

U.S. military decorations
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Defense Distinguished Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Defense Superior Service Medal with three bronze oak leaf clusters
Legion of Merit
1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg"V" device, brass.svg Bronze Star with Combat "V" and two gold award stars
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Defense Meritorious Service Medal with bronze oak leaf cluster
Gold star
Meritorious Service Medal with gold award star
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Joint Service Commendation Medal with bronze oak leaf cluster
Gold star
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold award star
Gold star
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with gold award star
Gold star
Combat Action Ribbon with gold award star
Bronze star
Navy Presidential Unit Citation with one bronze service star
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Joint Meritorious Unit Award with bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Navy Unit Commendation with one bronze service star
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation
Fleet Marine Force Ribbon.svg Fleet Marine Force Ribbon
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal with bronze service star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Bronze star
Southwest Asia Service Medal with bronze service star
Bronze-service-star-3d-vector.svgBronze-service-star-3d-vector.svgBronze-service-star-3d-vector.svg Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three bronze service stars
Bronze star
Iraq Campaign Medal with bronze service star
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal ribbon.svg Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal ribbon.svg Armed Forces Service Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal ribbon.svg Humanitarian Service Medal
Bronze-service-star-3d-vector.svgBronze-service-star-3d-vector.svgBronze-service-star-3d-vector.svgBronze-service-star-3d-vector.svg Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with four bronze service stars
Bronze-service-star-3d-vector.svgBronze-service-star-3d-vector.svg Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon with two bronze service stars
GER Bundeswehr Honour Cross Silver ribbon.svg Bundeswehr Silver Cross of Honor
NATO Medal Yugoslavia ribbon bar.svg NATO Medal for Former Yugoslavia
U.S. Navy Expert Rifleman Ribbon.svg Navy Expert Rifleman Medal
U.S. Navy Expert Pistol Shot Ribbon.svg Navy Expert Pistol Shot Medal
U.S. badges, patches and tabs
United States Navy Special Warfare insignia.png Naval Special Warfare insignia
Surface Warfare Officer Insignia.png Surface Warfare insignia
United States Navy Parachutist Badge.png Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia
Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
Official CENTCOM Seal.png CENTCOM Staff Identification Badge
US - Presidential Service Badge.png Presidential Service Badge


  1. ^ "Robert Harward turns down Trump's national security adviser offer". BBC. February 17, 2017. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  2. ^ "Harward gets high marks in Tampa as Trump seeks new national security adviser". Tampa Bay Times. February 14, 2017. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  3. ^ Robert Garnard (January 8, 2010). "Joint Task Force 435 Stands Up, Directs Afghanistan Detainee Operations". Dvidshub. Archived from the original on January 20, 2010.
  4. ^ Elizabeth McLaughlin (February 17, 2017). "Robert Harward: Everything you need to know about possible national security adviser". ABC News.
  5. ^ Gal Perl Finkel, US NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER FACES CHALLENGES AT HOME AND ABROAD, The Jerusalem Post, February 22, 2017.
  6. ^ Sciutto, Jim; Browne, Ryan; Tapper, Jake (February 16, 2017). "Harward says no to national security adviser role". CNN Politics. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  7. ^ Torbati, Yeganeh; Ali, Idrees (February 15, 2017). "Trump's choice for national security adviser had early exposure to Iran". Reuters. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
  8. ^ "Robert Harward: Everything you need to know about possible national security adviser". ABC News. February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
  9. ^ a b c Dan Petty. "Leadership Biographies". Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  10. ^ Harward, Vice Adm Robert S. (October 11, 2013). "Half of Our Potential". Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  11. ^ Whitlock, Craig (February 3, 2015). "In e-mails, glimpses of a striving Tampa socialite and smitten military brass at U.S. Central Command" – via
  12. ^ "U.S. Naval War College | Harward Receives Distinguished Graduate Leadership Award". Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  13. ^ "Bloomberg Executive Profile". Bloomberg. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
  14. ^ Costa, Robert (February 14, 2017). "Harward emerges as front-runner to replace Flynn following talks". Washington Post. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
  15. ^ "White House names possible shortlist for Flynn replacement". The Blade (Toledo, Ohio). AP. February 14, 2017. Retrieved January 7, 2020.
  16. ^ "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.
  17. ^ Sevastopulo, Demetri (February 16, 2017). "Robert Harward turns down Trump's national security offer". Financial Times. Reuters. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  18. ^ Sciutto, Jim; Browne, Ryan; Tapper, Jake. "Harward says no to national security adviser role". CNN Politics. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  19. ^ "Retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward Jr. Joins Patriot One's Senior Advisory Board". Patriot One Technologies Inc. September 4, 2019.

External links[edit]