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USTRANSCOM’s fifth chief of staff retires

Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva (left), vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, presents the Defense Superior Service Medal to Army Maj. Gen. David G. Clarkson (right), U.S. Transportation Command chief of staff, at Clarkson’s Feb. 17 retirement ceremony held at the Scott Event Center on Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. Photo by 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Army Maj. Gen. David G. Clarkson, U.S. Transportation Command’s fifth chief of staff, celebrated his retirement in a ceremony at the Scott Event Center on Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, after nearly 35 years of active service. The ceremony was officiated by Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former USTRANSCOM commander.

Clarkson entered the Army in 1982 after graduating from the Appalachian State University, North Carolina, Reserve Officer Training Course as a distinguished military graduate, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice. He is one of only 12 members of the ASU ROTC Distinguished Alumni.

After graduating from the Signal Officer Basic and Radio Systems Officer Courses, Clarkson was assigned as platoon leader, 67th Signal Battalion at Fort Gordon, Georgia, where he also served as battalion maintenance officer. He later deployed to Saudi Arabia and Iraq as commander, 846th Transportation Company.

As a general officer, Clarkson stood-up the Army Reserve Sustainment Command in 2009 and served as its first commanding general. Subsequently, he served two consecutive tours in 2011 and 2012 in Kuwait and Afghanistan as the deputy commanding general, 1st Sustainment Command.

On March 31, 2014, Clarkson reported for duty to USTRANSCOM.

“I was most proud of my involvement in building the Knowledge Management/Change Management teams to include government leads, serving under three separate commanders, and participating in two Secretary of Defense-level changes of command,” Clarkson said.

He said he relished his working relationship with Gen. Darren W. McDew, USTRANSCOM commander, and admires McDew’s drive, vision and can-do attitude. Clarkson acknowledged good mentors and examples as an integral part of his development throughout his years in the Army.

Addressing the variety of positions Clarkson has held, Selva said, “Is there a job he’s not good at -- because he’s knocked it out of the park with everything he’s done.”

When asked about the impact his family had on his career, Clarkson said, “I credit my wife Vicki, son Josh, and extended family for much of my success, both in and out of uniform.”

Clarkson’s future plans include returning to Lexington, North Carolina, where he will resume his civilian job as vice president of national accounts for a manufacturer of adhesives in the construction industry.

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