General Richard Clarke, Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command

General Richard Clarke

Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command

Richard D. Clarke, Jr. was born in July 1960 to an Army family in West Germany. He graduated from the United States Military Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree. He earned an M.B.A. from Benedictine College. He was commissioned into the Infantry Branch of the Army and has had considerable additional education through the military, including a master’s degree in Security and Strategic Studies from the National War College. 

He has led soldiers at all levels in Airborne, Ranger, Mechanized, and Light Infantry units. He served in Europe, Iraq, and Afghanistan, in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operation Joint Guardian in Macedonia, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Inherent Resolve. 

He also served at the Pentagon as Vice Director for Strategy, Plans, and Policy for the Joint Chiefs and later as its director. He has been Commander of the United States Special Operations Command since 2019. 

In the News…

The Special Operations Command has made an investment in a futuristic piece of technology that would provide many benefits for one of that community’s toughest jobs—combat diver. The command has awarded a $10 million contract to a Virginia-based company for the purchase and maintenance of the Jet Boots Diver Propulsion System. 

Jet boots use a battery pack and a brushless motor system to propel the diver. The boots have two thrusters on the side of each leg that the operator can maneuver with their body, freeing their hands for other tasks. They are primarily used by the Army Special Forces combat-diver teams and Navy SEALS, and versions currently in use can move a diver at speeds up to 4 knots  (4.6 mph) while allowing them to be “completely relaxed” and conserve energy. 

The result of the jet boots would be the ability to go farther faster and arrive less fatigued — and thus better prepared. This equipment would be an asset to a combat diver team and could make a difference in the successful completion of missions. 


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