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Hugh Shelton: Wikis


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H. Hugh Shelton
Born January 2, 1942 (1942-01-02) (age 68)
General Henry Shelton, official portrait 2.jpg
General Henry H. Shelton, U.S. Army
Place of birth Tarboro, North Carolina
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Rank General
Commands held Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
Special Operations Command
XVIII Airborne Corps
82nd Airborne Division
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Gulf War
Awards Defense Distinguished Service Medal (4)
Army Distinguished Service Medal (5)
Bronze Star (4, with "V" Device)
Combat Infantryman Badge
Military Free Fall Parachutist Badge
Special Forces Tab
Ranger Tab
Other work Board of Directors, Red Hat Corporation
Director, Anheuser Busch
Director, Anteon International
Director, Protective Products of America (PPA.TO)

General Henry Hugh Shelton (born January 2, 1942) is a retired American career military officer of the United States Army. He served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1997 to 2001.


Born in Tarboro, North Carolina, Shelton attended North Carolina State University and was a member of Pershing Rifles. He earned a degree in textiles while earning his Army commission through ROTC training. Shelton's further education includes a master's degree from Auburn University in 1973 as well as studies at the Air Command and Staff College and the National War College.

Shelton served two tours of duty in Vietnam with the 5th Special Forces Group, followed by a series of command and staff assignments. Following the Gulf War, Shelton commanded the 82nd Airborne Division in his home state of North Carolina. In 1993, he was given command of XVIII Airborne Corps. Shelton led the Joint Task Force responsible for Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti in 1994. In 1996, Shelton, a Special Forces soldier, was promoted to the rank of General and the position of Commander in Chief of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM).

Upon the retirement of John M. Shalikashvili, Shelton was appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on October 1, 1997. In his time in that office he coined the phrase Dover test, testing the support for a war based on the reaction of the people after seeing US casualties returning at the Dover Air Force Base. During the events of September 11, 2001 he was on a plane to London, England and the then Vice Chairman Air Force General Richard Myers took charge and on October 1, 2001 became his successor.

In his retirement, Shelton joined the Board of Directors of Red Hat Corporation in April 2003. He also holds directorships at Anheuser Busch, Anteon International and Protective Products of America (PPA.TO).

Shelton created a minor controversy for 2004 Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark, a subordinate to Shelton during the 1999 Kosovo military actions, when he stated: "I will tell you the reason [Clark] came out of Europe early had to do with integrity and character issues, things that are very near and dear to my heart. […] I'll just say Wes won't get my vote," casting doubt upon the presidential contender's legitimacy. [1]. Shelton said that US could fight in both Iraq and Afghanistan at same time. Source - Douglass Feith.

Shelton also served as an advisor to Senator John Edwards' presidential campaign from 2003-2004. [2]

Shelton married Carolyn L. Johnson in 1963.

Shelton was raised about 1 mile out of the small town of Speed, North Carolina. Speed is about 12 miles NE of Tarboro. His wife, Carolyn, was raised inside the Speed city limits. HWY 122 which run through Speed to Hobgood, North Carolina (right past the homestead he was raised on) was named after him several years ago. It is called "Henry Hugh Shelton Hwy".

Shelton was considered a possible candidate for US Senate from North Carolina in 2008 against Republican Elizabeth Dole.

On March 1, 2008, General Shelton announced his endorsement of Senator Hillary Clinton for the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary, stating, "I’ve been with Senator Clinton when she has been with our military men and women. I know from those experiences that she understands the demands and sacrifice of military life. I am confident she will always put the readiness and well being of our troops first. She is ready to be Commander-in-Chief." General Shelton was the second Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to endorse Senator Clinton, the first being General John Shalikashvili. [3]

U.S. Decorations and Badges

General Shelton has been decorated for service, to include:

RangerTab TIoH.gif SpecialForcesTabMetal.jpg
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Pathfinder.gif USASOC Military Free Fall Parachute Badge.jpg
US - Joint Chiefs.png AirAssault.gif
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Badge Combat Infantryman Badge
Badge Master Parachutist Badge
Badge Ranger Tab Special Forces Tab
1st Row Awards Defense Distinguished Service Medal w/ 3 oak leaf clusters Distinguished Service Medal w/ 2 oak leaf clusters
2nd Row Awards Legion of Merit w/ 1 oak leaf clusters Bronze Star w valor device & 3 oak leaf clusters Purple Heart Meritorious Service Medal w/ 2 oak leaf clusters
3rd Row Awards Air Medal w/ "2" device Army Commendation Medal w/ 3 oak leaf clusters National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 service star Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
4th Row Awards Vietnam Service Medal w/ 4 bronze service star Southwest Asia Service Medal w/ 2 service stars Army Service Ribbon Army Overseas Service Ribbon
5th Row Awards Vietnam Gallantry Cross Vietnam Campaign Medal w/ "60" Device Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia) Kuwait Liberation Medal
Badge Pathfinder Badge Military Free Fall Parachute Badge
Badge Joint Chiefs of Staff Badge Air Assault Badge
Unit Awards Presidential Unit Citation (United States)
Unit Awards US Navy Presidential Unit Citation Joint Meritorious Unit Award w/ oak leaf cluster Meritorious Unit Commendation Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation w/ Palm


Military offices
Preceded by
John Shalikashvili
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Succeeded by
Richard Myers


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