GEN. Hugh Shelton

GEN. Hugh Shelton

One of the leading military figures of our time, General Hugh Shelton served two terms as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Shelton was the chief architect of the military response to the September 11th terrorist attacks.

As one of the nation's elite Special Forces soldiers, Shelton served twice in Vietnam, commanding a Green Beret unit and then an airborne infantry company. He was awarded a Bronze Star for valor and a Purple Heart for a wound suffered when a booby trap drove a poisoned stake through his leg.  Shelton rose up the ranks and was assistant division commander of the 101st Airborne Division as they invaded Iraq in the Persian Gulf War, then led the 20,000 American troops tasked with restoring Haiti's deposed President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, to power. Promoted to 4-star General, he became Commander in Chief of U.S. Special Operations Command (including Delta Force, Navy SEALS and other top secret Special Mission Units). He is a Congressional Gold Medal recipient and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth.

Shelton's memoir Without Hesitation: The Odyssey of an American Warrior (with Ron Levinson and Malcolm McConnell) chronicles the general's incredible journey from a small farming community in North Carolina to the highest level of American military and political power at the Pentagon and White House.

Read an excerpt from Without Hesitation and an interview (featuring excerpts) with General Shelton on Commandposts.com. For additional information, visit General Shelton's site.
Focus On: Vietnam War
A Vietnam Story: Honoring Selfless Courage
By: GEN. Hugh Shelton | May 23, 2012
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 “On behalf of the President of the United States, the United States Army, and a grateful nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one's honorable and faithful service.”

Carolyn and I have heard these words far too many times, and we heard them once again May 11, 2012, as we assembled at Arlington National Cemetery to mourn the death and celebrate the life of a great American Army aviator, Major General Bob Frix.

These Army aviators are a special breed, and as the honor guard handed the perfectly folded American flag from Bob’s casket to Moe, his wife of thirty-four years, my mind flashed back to early 1967, when the fearless determination and exceptional aeronautical skill of another legendary aviator saved my life on the edge of the A Shau Valley near the mountainous border with Laos, the main North Vietnamese infiltration route into I Corps.

[More...]

Focus On: Intel
General Hugh Shelton aboard the Mount Whitney . Credit: DOD.
Cedras Out, Aristide In
By: GEN. Hugh Shelton | October 15, 2011

CP note: President Aristide's return date was selected: October 15, 1994. "My job," said GEN Hugh Shelton, "was to make sure that all semblance of the current junta was long gone before he set foot back on Haitian soil. It was time to tell Cedras and President Jonassaint that the time had come for them to vacate their offices."

Although it was the Department of State’s job to coordinate the departure of General Cedras, Ambassador Swing asked that I take the lead since I had a working relationship with Cedras. I immediately called Cedras and we agreed to meet at his home. [More...]

Focus On: 9/11
Shelton speaks at the Pentagon after 9/11 attacks.
Why the Clinton Administration Didn’t Go After the Taliban and Bin Laden Before 9/11
By: GEN. Hugh Shelton | September 9, 2011
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CP ran the post below October 22, 2010, upon the release of GEN Shelton's Without Hesitation. It was titled "Why We Didn't Go After the Taliban and Bin Laden Before 9/11. The title has been altered to reflect the Clinton administration, which GEN Shelton describes.) 

General Hugh Shelton on bin Laden and the Taliban. When the idea was brought up, Secretary of State Albright pushed back and said no, the Taliban constitutes a legitimate sovereign government and we need to respect that—we need to demarche them first and give them a chance to correct their ways.

[More...]

Focus On: Historic Battles
Gentleman, We Are About to Commence Operation Urgent Fury
By: GEN. Hugh Shelton | February 24, 2011
“Gentleman,” General Trobaugh began, “we are about to commence Operation Urgent Fury, the invasion of the island of Grenada [not to be confused with Granada, Spain, where the NATO exercise was to take place]. Radical leftists have overthrown the constitutional government, massacred its leaders, and basically seized the island hostage. Their real muscle is a large contingent of Cuban construction ‘workers’— in reality, armed combat engineers building a big international airport at Point Salinas.

To complicate matters, there are eight hundred American medical students at St. George’s on the island. President Reagan has authorized military action to free the students and eliminate the radical government.” [More...]
On Point
Shelton and Clinton in Oval Office
The Actions Taken
By: GEN. Hugh Shelton | December 6, 2010
Many people wonder why at times the military does not take a certain action. One example is Richard Clarke, later dubbed the “counterterrorism czar,” who frequently came up with ideas that would brief well—but when you looked at the reality of it, of what it would really take to pull it off, it was far better suited for an episode of NCIS than a real-life situation in which lives were on the line. [More...]
Focus On: 9/11
Shelton speaks at the Pentagon after 9/11 attacks.
Why We Didn’t Go After the Taliban and Bin Laden Before 9/11
By: GEN. Hugh Shelton | October 22, 2010
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General Hugh Shelton on bin Laden and the Taliban. When the idea was brought up, Secretary of State Albright pushed back and said no, the Taliban constitutes a legitimate sovereign government and we need to respect that—we need to demarche them first and give them a chance to correct their ways. [More...]
On Point
Clinton pins medal on Shelton
Did President Clinton or One of His Aides Lose the Nuclear Codes?
By: GEN. Hugh Shelton | October 21, 2010
Did President Clinton or one of his aides lose the nuclear codes? What happened? How could we have lost the codes without knowing it? [More...]
Interviews
General Hugh Shelton
By: CommandPosts | October 14, 2010
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I wrote the book for four basic reasons, the first being to present an unbiased, accurate historical record—one that reflects the unsanitized raw truth without resorting to gossip or revision of the facts as they actually played out. The second reason is to give hope and inspiration to others facing adversarial situations. [More...]
Focus On: 9/11
GEN. Hugh Shelton
Inside the War Room The Final Days
By: GEN. Hugh Shelton | October 12, 2010
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I'm often asked about my final days of office, between 9/11 and the start of operations in Afghanistan—the days that were consumed with post-911 planning for the war, along with preparations to turn over the controls to the expert piloting of General Dick Myers. [More...]
Focus On: Intel
Without Hesitation: The Odyssey of an American Warrior
By: GEN. Hugh Shelton | October 11, 2010
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I’d been poisoned in Vietnam and ambushed in Haiti; instituted the war plan for invading Afghanistan and knighted by the Queen; attacked by the Vice President and prevented a high-ranking Cabinet official from precipitating global war by deliberately shooting down an American airplane—so the last scenario I could have imagined for my own death was falling off a ladder while trimming a tree in my backyard. Yet, that’s exactly where I found myself on the morning of March 23, when I slammed head first onto the ground. I was completely paralyzed from the neck down and unable to breathe . . . oxygen nearly depleted . . . starting to lose consciousness . . . powerless to do anything about it. . . . My mind flashed through snippets of the incredible “ride” that constituted my life. [More...]
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