Richard D. Clarke Jr., retired U.S. Army 4-Star general and the former commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), is a MITRE Trustee. Before assuming command of USSOCOM at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Clarke was director for Strategic Plans and Policy, Joint Staff, at the Pentagon.
Clarke was born in West Germany and raised in an Army family. After graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1984, he was commissioned into the Infantry branch and launched his command journey. Clarke served nearly four decades leading Infantry, Ranger, and Special Operations in the United States, Europe, Iraq, and Afghanistan. His multiple deployments included Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operation Joint Guardian, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He served as commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, Commandant of Cadets at the USMA at West Point, Deputy Commanding General for Operations of the 10th Mountain Division.
His decorations and major awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, two Army Distinguished Service Medals, three Defense Superior Service Medals, two Legion of Merit awards, and five Bronze Stars.
Clarke earned a bachelor’s degree from West Point and an MBA from Benedictine College. He retired from the military in 2022 and sits on the board of General Dynamics.