Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: Wesley

Last Name: Clark

Birthplace: Chicago, IL, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Kanne

Date of Birth: 23 December 1944

Rank: General

Years Served: 1966-2000
Wesley Kanne Clark

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1966

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)
•  Kosovo War (1998 - 1999)


Wesley Kanne Clark, Sr.
General, U.S. Army

The Early Years

Wesley Kanne Clark was born Wesley Kanne on 23 December 1944, in Chicago, IL, to Benjamin and Veneta Kanne. His father, Benjamin, died on 6 December 1948 and his mother then moved the family to Little Rock, AR. This move was made for a variety of reasons including, escaping the greater cost of living in a large city such as Chicago; the support Veneta's family in Arkansas could provide; and her feeling of being an outsider to the remaining Kanne family (as a Methodist she did not share their religion, Judaism).

Once in Little Rock, Veneta married Viktor Clark, whom she met while working as a secretary for a local bank. Viktor raised Wesley as his son, and officially adopted him on Wesley's 16th birthday. Wesley's name was changed to Wesley Kanne Clark. Viktor Clark's name actually replaced that of Wesley's biological father on his birth certificate, something Wesley would later say that he wished they had not done. Veneta raised Wesley without telling him of his Jewish ancestry to protect him from the anti-Semitic activities of the Ku Klux Klan occurring in the South at the time. Although his mother was Methodist, Clark chose a Baptist church after moving to Little Rock and continued attending it throughout his childhood.

Clark graduated from Hall High School with a National Merit Scholarship, and helped take their swim team to the state championship, filling in for a sick teammate by swimming two legs of a relay. Clark has often repeated the anecdote that he decided he wanted to go to West Point after meeting a cadet with glasses who told Clark (who wore glasses as well) that one did not need perfect vision to attend West Point as Clark had thought. Clark applied, and was accepted on 24 April 1962.

Military Service

Clark's military career began on 2 July 1962, when he entered the U.S. Military Academy. He later said an important influence on his view of the military came from Douglas MacArthur's famous "Duty, honor, country" speech given to the class of 1962, only months before he entered the Academy. A recording of the speech was played for Clark's class when they first arrived.

He sat in the front in many of his classes, a position held by the highest performer in class. Clark participated heavily in debate, was consistently within the top 5% of his class as a whole (earning him a "Distinguished Cadet" patch on his uniform), and ultimately graduated as valedictorian of the Class of 1966. The valedictorian is first to choose which career field of the Army to serve in, and Clark selected Armor. He met Gertrude Kingston, his future wife, at a USO dance for midshipmen and West Point cadets.

Clark eventually applied for a Rhodes Scholarship and learned in December of his senior year at West Point that he had been accepted. He spent his summer at the U.S. Army Airborne School at Fort Benning, GA. He worked in the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) program during his Rhodes Scholarship, completing his degree at Magdalen College at the University of Oxford in August 1968. While he was at Oxford, a Jewish cousin of Clark's who lived in England telephoned Clark and informed him of his Jewish heritage (after asking his mother if she would allow it). Clark spent three months after graduation at Fort Knox, KY, going through the Armor Officer Basic Course, then went on to Ranger School at Fort Benning. He was promoted to Captain and was assigned as Commander of A Company, 4th Battalion, 68th Armor, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Riley, KS.

Vietnam War

Clark was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division and flew to Vietnam on 21 May 1969. He worked as a staff officer, collecting data and helping in operations planning, and was awarded the Bronze Star for his work with the staff. Clark was then given command of A Company, 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division, in January 1970. In February, only one month into his command, he was shot four times by a Viet Cong soldier with an AK-47. The wounded Clark shouted orders to his men, who counterattacked and defeated the Viet Cong force. Clark had injuries to his right shoulder, right hand, right hip, and right leg, and was sent to Valley Forge Army Hospital in Phoenixville, PA to recuperate. He was awarded the Silver Star for his actions during the encounter.

While in Vietnam, Clark converted to Catholicism, his wife Gertrude's religion. He saw his son, Wesley Clark, Jr., for the first time while at the Valley Forge Hospital. Clark commanded C Company, 6th Battalion, 32nd Armor, 194th Armored Brigade, a company composed entirely of wounded soldiers, at Fort Knox. Clark has said this command is what made him decide to continue his military career past the four-year commitment required by West Point; which would have concluded in 1971. Clark completed his Armor Officer Advanced Course while at Fort Knox, taking additional elective courses and writing an article that won the Armor Association Writing Award. His next posting was to the office of the Army Chief of Staff in Washington, DC, where he worked in the "Modern Volunteer Army" program from May to July 1971. He then served as an instructor in the Department of Social Sciences at West Point for three years from July 1971-74.

He graduated from the Command and General Staff College (CGSC), earning his military Master of Arts degree in Military Science with a thesis on American Policies of Gradualism in the Vietnam War. Clark's theory was one of applying force swiftly, which was being advocated by many soldiers at the time, a concept that would eventually become established as U.S. national security policy in the form of the Weinberger Doctrine and its successor, the Powell Doctrine. Clark was promoted to Major upon his graduation from the CGSC.


In 1975, Clark was appointed a White House Fellow in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as a Special Assistant to its Director, James Thomas Lynn. He was one of only 14 appointed out of 2,307 applicants. Lynn also gave Clark a six-week assignment to assist John Marsh, then a counselor to the President. Clark was approached during his fellowship to help push for a memorial to Vietnam veterans. He worked with the movement that ultimately helped lead to the creation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. Clark served in two commands with the 1st Armored Division based in Germany from August 1976 to February 1978; first as S-3 of the 3rd Battalion, 35th Armor and then as S-3 of the entire 3rd Brigade. Clark's brigade commander while in the former position said Clark was "singularly outstanding, notably superb." Regarding his term as brigade commander, one of his battalion commanders called Clark the "most brilliant and gifted officer [he'd] ever known." He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his work with the 1st Armored Division.

The brigade commander had also said that "word of Major Clark's exceptional talent spread," and in one case reached the desk of then Supreme Allied Commander Alexander Haig. Haig personally selected Clark to serve as a Special Assistant on his staff, a post he held from February 1978 to June 1979. While on staff at SHAPE, Clark wrote policy reports and coordinated two multinational military exercises. As a result of his work on Haig's staff, Clark was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and was awarded the Legion of Merit. After his European post, he moved on to Fort Carson, CO, where he served first as the Executive Officer of the 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division from August 1979 to February 1980, then as the Commander of the 1st Battalion, 77th Armor, 4th Infantry Division from February 1980 to July 1982.

According to the American journalist David Halberstam, the commander at Fort Carson, then Major General John Hudacheck, had a reputation of disliking West Point graduates and fast-rising officers such as Clark. After two years of not making the list to rise from battalion commander to brigade commander, Clark attended the National War College. After studying there from June 1982 to 1983, Clark graduated and was promoted to Colonel in October 1983.

Following his graduation, Clark worked in Washington from July 1983 to 1984 in the offices of the Chief and Deputy Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. Army, and earned a second Legion of Merit for his work. He then served as the Operations Group Commander at the Fort Irwin Military Reservation from August 1984 to June 1986. He was awarded yet another Legion of Merit and a Meritorious Service Medal for his work at Fort Irwin, and was then given a brigade command at Fort Carson in 1986. He commanded the 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry there from April 1986 to March 1988. Veneta Clark, Wesley's mother, fell ill as he began this command and died on Mother's Day in 1986. After Fort Carson, Clark returned to the Command and General Staff College to direct and further develop the Battle Command Training Program (BCTP) there until October 1989. The BCTP was created to teach senior officers war-fighting skills, according to the commanding general at the time. On 1 November 1989, Clark was promoted to Brigadier General.

Clark returned to Fort Irwin and commanded the National Training Center (NTC) from October 1989 to 1991. The Gulf War occurred during Clark's command, and many National Guard divisional round-out brigades trained under his command. Multiple generals commanding American forces in Iraq and Kuwait said Clark's training helped bring about results in the field and that he had successfully begun training a new generation of the military that had moved past Vietnam-era strategy. He was awarded yet another Legion of Merit for his "personal efforts" that were "instrumental in maintaining" the NTC, according to the citation. He served in yet another planning post after this, as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Concepts, Doctrine, and Developments at Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) at Fort Monroe, VA. While there, he helped the commanding general of TRADOC prepare the Army for war and develop new post-Cold War strategies. One of Clark's major pushes was for technological advancement in the Army to establish a digital network for military command that Clark called the "digitization of the battlefield." Clark was promoted to Major General in October 1992 at the end of this command.

Fort Hood and the Waco Siege

Clark's divisional command came with the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, TX. Clark was in command during three separate deployments of forces from Fort Hood for peacekeeping in Kuwait.

Some critics, such as left-wing CounterPunch and right-wing FrontPageMag.com, have made allegations that Clark was, to some degree, involved in the Waco Siege, where 74 Branch Davidian followers were killed during the final raid, including their leader David Koresh. Groups making allegations of Clark's involvement note that Clark's second-in-command at the time, future General Peter Schoomaker, met with then-Texas governor Ann Richards and then-Attorney General Janet Reno, who were also allegedly involved with the siege. They also note that some military technology and personnel from Fort Hood, including two M1 Abrams tanks, were lent to the FBI for the operation. Some also suggest that, given the sensitive nature of the materials lent for the operation, Clark had some knowledge of and perhaps a hand in planning the Waco Siege. Others, such as James Ridgeway, dismiss the allegations as conspiracy theories with "little evidence to substantiate them."

His final Officer Evaluation Report for his command at Fort Hood called him "one of the Army's best and brightest." Clark was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his work at Fort Hood and was promoted to Lieutenant General at the end of his command in April 1994. Clark's next assignment was an appointment as the Director, Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5), on the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), from April 1994 to June 1996.

U.S. Southern Command

Army regulations set a so-called "ticking clock" upon the promotion to a three-star general, essentially requiring that Clark be promoted to another post within two years from his initial promotion, or retire. This deadline ended in 1996 and Clark said he was not optimistic about receiving such a promotion because rumors at the time suggested General Dennis Reimer did not want to recommend him for promotion although "no specific reason was given." According to Clark's book, General Robert Scales said that it was likely Clark's reputation of intelligence within the military was responsible for feelings of resentment against him from other generals. Clark was named to the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) post despite these rumors. Congress approved his promotion to General in June 1996, and General John M. Shalikashvili signed the order. Clark said he was not the original nominee, but the first officer chosen "hadn't been accepted for some reason."

The Balkans

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Clark began planning work for responses to the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina upon his appointment in 1994 as the Director, Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5) on the JCS staff. While collecting information to outline military options for resolving the conflict, Clark met with Bosnian Serb military leaders including Ratko Mladić, who was later accused of war crimes and genocide. Clark was photographed exchanging hats with Mladić, and the photo drew controversy in the U.S. A Washington Post story was published claiming Clark had made the visit despite a warning from the U.S. ambassador. Some Clinton administration members privately said the incident was "like cavorting with Hermann Göring." Clark had actually listed the visit in the itinerary he submitted to the ambassador, but says he learned only afterwards that the visit had never been approved. He also said there had been no warning and that no one had told him to cancel the visit, although two Congressmen called for Clark's dismissal regardless. Clark later said he regretted the exchange, and the issue was ultimately resolved as President Clinton sent a letter defending Clark to the Congress and the controversy subsided. Clark said it was his "first experience in the rough and tumble of high visibility... and a painful few days." Conservative pundit Robert Novak later referred to the hat exchange in a column during Clark's 2004 presidential campaign, citing it as a "problem" with Clark as a candidate.

Clark was sent to Bosnia by Secretary of Defense William Perry to serve as the military advisor to a diplomatic negotiating team headed by assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke. Holbrooke later described Clark's position as "complicated" because while it presented him with future possibilities it "might put him into career-endangering conflicts with more senior officers." While the team was driving along a mountain road during the first week, the road gave way, and one of the vehicles fell over a cliff carrying passengers including Holbrooke's deputy, Robert Frasure, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Joseph Kruzel, and Air Force Colonel Nelson Drew. Clark and Holbrooke attempted to crawl down the mountain, but were driven back by sniper fire. Once the fire ceased, Clark rappelled down the mountain to collect the bodies of two dead Americans left by Bosnian forces that had taken the remaining wounded to a nearby hospital. After returning to Washington for funeral services, the negotiations continued and the team eventually reached the Dayton Agreement at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, OH, and later signed it in Paris on 14 December 1995.

Clark returned to the European Theater and the Balkans following his USSOUTHCOM position when he was appointed to U.S. European Command in the summer of 1997 by President Clinton. He was, as with SOUTHCOM, not the original nominee for the position. The Army had already selected another general for the post. Because President Clinton and General Shalikashvili believed Clark was the best man for the post, Clark eventually got the nomination. Shalikashvili noted he "had a very strong role in [Clark's] last two jobs." Clark noted during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services committee of the 105th Congress that he believed NATO had shifted since the end of the Cold War from protecting Europe from the Soviet Union to working towards more general stability in the region. Clark also addressed issues related to his then-current command of USSOUTHCOM, such as support for the School of the Americas and his belief that the U.S. must continue aid to some South American nations to effectively fight the War on Drugs. Clark was quickly confirmed by a voice vote the same day as his confirmation hearing, giving him the command of 109,000 American troops, their 150,000 family members, 50,000 civilians aiding the military, and all American military activities in 89 countries and territories of Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. The position made Clark the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), which granted him overall command of NATO military forces in Europe.

Kosovo War

The largest event of Clark's tenure as SACEUR was NATO's confrontation with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the Kosovo War. The United Nations Security Council introduced Resolution 1199 calling for an end to hostilities in Kosovo, and Richard Holbrooke again tried to negotiate a peace. This process came to an unsuccessful end, however, following the Račak incident. Then-U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright tried to force Yugoslavia into allowing separation of Kosovo with the Rambouillet Agreement, which Yugoslavia refused. Clark was at the Rambouillet talks and tried to convince Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milošević by telling him "there's an activation order. And if they tell me to bomb you, I'm going to bomb you good." Clark later said Milošević launched into an emotional tirade against Albanians and said that they'd been "handled" in the 1940s by killing large numbers of them.

Clark started the bombings, codenamed Operation Allied Force, on 24 March 1999 on orders to try and enforce UN Resolution 1199 following Yugoslavia's refusal of the Rambouillet Agreement. However, critics note that Resolution 1199 was a call for cessation of hostilities and does not authorize any organization to take military action. Secretary of Defense William Cohen felt that Clark had powerful allies at the White House, such as President Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, that were allowing him to circumvent The Pentagon in promoting his strategic ideas. But Clark felt he was not being included enough in discussions with the National Command Authority, leading Clark to describe himself as "just a NATO officer who also reported to the United States." This command conflict came to a ceremonial head when Clark was not initially invited to a summit in Washington to commemorate NATO's 50th anniversary, despite being its supreme military commander. Clark eventually secured an invitation to the summit, but was told by Cohen to say nothing about ground troops, and Clark agreed.

Clark returned to SHAPE following the summit and briefed the press on the continued bombing operations. A reporter from the Los Angeles Times asked a question about the effect of bombings on Serbian forces, and Clark noted that merely counting the number of opposing troops did not show Milošević's true losses because he was bringing in reinforcements. Many American news organizations capitalized on the remark in a way Clark said "distorted the comment" with headlines such as "NATO Chief Admits Bombs Fail to Stem Serb Operations" in The New York Times. Clark later defended his remarks, saying this was a "complete misunderstanding of my statement and of the facts," and President Clinton agreed Clark's remarks had been misconstrued. Regardless, Clark received a call the following evening from General Hugh Shelton who said he had been told by Secretary Cohen to deliver a piece of guidance verbatim. "Get your fucking face off the TV. No more briefings, period. That's it."

Operation Allied Force experienced another problem when NATO bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade on 7 May 1999. The operation had been organized against numerous Serbian targets, including "Target 493, the Federal Procurement and Supply Directorate Headquarters," although the intended target building was actually 300 meters away from the targeted area. The embassy was located at this mistaken target, and three Chinese journalists were killed. Clark's intelligence officer called Clark, taking full responsibility and offering to resign, but Clark declined, saying it was not the officer's fault. Secretary Cohen and CIA Director George Tenet took responsibility the next day. Tenet would later explain in testimony before the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on 22 July 1999, that the targeting system used street addresses, which gave inaccurate positions for air bombings and that the various databases of off-limit targets did not have the up-to-date address for the relatively new embassy location. However, there were some that did not accept this explanation.

The bombing campaign was ended on 10 June on the order of Secretary General of NATO Javier Solana after Milošević complied with conditions the international community had set and Yugoslav forces began to withdraw from Kosovo. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 was adopted that same day, placing Kosovo under United Nations administration and authorizing a Kosovo peacekeeping force. NATO claimed to have suffered no combat deaths thus making Clark the first U.S. general to win a war without losing a single soldier to combat. NATO did suffer two deaths overall; coming from an Apache helicopter crash that NATO attributed to engine failure. A F-117A was downed near the village of Budjanovici. The bombing was noted for its high degree of accuracy, with estimated 495 civilian deaths and 820 wounded reported to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia as a result of the entire campaign. Yugoslavia estimated that number of civilians killed is higher than 2,000 and that more than 5,000 have been wounded. Human Rights Watch estimates the number of civilian deaths due to NATO bombings as somewhere between 488 and 527.

Milošević's term in office in Yugoslavia was coming to an end, and the elections that came on 24 September 2000 were protested due to allegations of fraud and rigged elections. This all came to a head on 5 October in the so-called Bulldozer Revolution. Milošević resigned on 7 October. The Democratic Opposition of Serbia won a majority in parliamentary elections that December. Milošević was taken into custody on 1 April 2001 and transferred to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on 28 June to face charges of war crimes and genocide. Clark was called to testify in a closed session of Milošević's trial in December 2003. He testified on issues ranging from the Srebrenica massacre to conversations Clark had had with Milošević over his career. Some anti-war activist groups also label Clark and Bill Clinton (along with several others) as war criminals for NATO's entire bombing campaign, saying the entire operation was in violation of the NATO charter.

Pristina International Airport

One of Clark's most debated decisions during his SACEUR command was his attempted operation to attack Russian troops at Pristina International Airport immediately after the end of the Kosovo War. A joint NATO-Russia peacekeeping operation was supposed to police Kosovo. Russia wanted their peacekeeping force to operate independent of NATO, but NATO refused. British forces were supposed to occupy Pristina International Airport, but a contingent of Russian troops arrived before they did and took control of the airport. Clark called then-Secretary General of NATO Javier Solana, and was told "you have transfer of authority" in the area. General Clark then issued an order for the NATO troops to attack and "overpower" the armed Russian troops, but Captain Blount, leading the British troops, questioned this order, and was supported in this decision by the British commander of the Kosovo Force, General Mike Jackson, who refused to sanction the attack, reportedly saying "I'm not going to start the Third World War for you." Jackson has said he refused to take action because he did not believe it was worth the risk of a military confrontation with the Russians, instead insisting that troops encircle the airfield. After two days of standoff and negotiations, NATO agreed to an independent Russian peacekeeping force, and Russia relinquished control of the airport. The refusal was criticized by some senior U.S. military personnel, with American General Hugh Shelton calling Jackson's refusal "troubling," and hearings in the U.S. Senate suggested it may amount to insubordination, with Senator John Warner suggesting holding hearings regarding whether the refusal was legal and potentially changing those rules if it was. British Chief of the Defence Staff, Charles Guthrie, agreed with Jackson and told Clark this on the day Jackson refused the order.

Forced Retirement

Clark received another call from General Shelton in July 1999 in which he was told that Secretary Cohen wanted Clark to leave his command in April 2000. Clark was surprised by this, as he saw SACEURs as being expected to serve at least 3 years and often asked to stay on for a 4th, while this date would give him less than 3 years of service at the post. Clark was told that this was necessary because General Joseph Ralston was leaving his post as the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and would need another four-star command within 60 days or he would be forced to retire. Ralston was not going to be appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff due to an extramarital affair in his past, and the SACEUR position was said to be the last potential post for him. Clark said this explanation "didn't wash" because he believed the legalities could have been sorted out to let him serve a full 3 years. Clinton signed onto Ralston's reassignment, although David Halberstam wrote that both he and Madeleine Albright were angered at Clark's treatment. Clark spent the remainder of his time as SACEUR overseeing peacekeeper forces and, without a new command to take, was forced into retirement from the military on 2 May 2000.

Rumors persisted that Clark was forced out due to his contentious relationship with some in Washington; however, he has dismissed such rumors, calling it a "routine personnel action," and the Department of Defense said it was merely a "general rotation of American senior ranks." However, a NATO ambassador told the International Herald Tribune that Clark's dismissal seemed to be a "political thing from the United States." General Hugh Shelton would say of Clark during his 2004 campaign that "the reason he came out of Europe early had to do with integrity and character issues, things that are very near and dear to my heart. I'm not going to say whether I'm a Republican or a Democrat. I'll just say Wes won't get my vote." Shelton never elaborated further on what these issues were.

Medals, Awards, Badges & Tabs

Defense Distinguished Service Medal with 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star Medal
Legion of Merit with 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Bronze Star Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Purple Heart
Meritorious Service Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Army Commendation Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star
Vietnam Service Medal with 2 Bronze Stars
Army Service Ribbon
Army Overseas Service Ribbon with Numeral 3
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Vietnam Civil Actions Medal
Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
Grand Cross of the Medal of Military Merit (Portugal)
Combat Infantryman Badge
Parachutist Badge
Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
Army Staff Identification Badge
Ranger Tab


As a civilian, Clark received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2000.

The people of Đakovica, Kosovo named a street after him for his role in helping their city and country.

The city of Madison, AL, has named a boulevard after Clark.

Municipal approval has been granted for the construction of a new street to be named "General Clark Court" in Virginia Beach, VA.

He has been appointed a Fellow at the Burkle Center for International Relations at UCLA.

He is a member of the guiding coalition of the Project on National Security Reform.

In Retirement

Clark currently serves as the co-chairman of Growth Energy, an ethanol lobbying group and on the board of directors of BNK Petroleum.

Clark's Treatment of Other Officers: The McCain Military Service Controversy

On 29 June 2008, Clark made comments on Face the Nation that were critical of Republican John McCain, calling into question the notion that McCain's military service alone had given him experience relevant to being president. "I certainly honor [McCain's] service as a prisoner of war," Clark said, "but he hasn't held executive responsibility. That large squadron in the Navy that he commanded--it wasn't a wartime squadron. He hasn't been in there and ordered the bombs to fall." When moderator Bob Schieffer noted that Obama had no military experience to prepare him for the presidency nor had he "ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down," Clark responded that, ultimately, Obama had not based his presidential bid on his military experience, as McCain has done throughout his campaign. Clark's retort, however, is what drew rebuke. In referring to McCain's military experience, he stated: "Well, I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president." Both the McCain and Obama campaigns subsequently released statements rejecting Clark's comment. However, Clark has received the backing of several prominent liberal groups such as MoveOn.org and military veteran groups such as VoteVets.org; Obama ultimately stated that Clark's comments were "inartful" and were not intended to attack McCain's military service. In the days following the controversial interview, Clark went on several news programs to reiterate his true admiration and heartfelt support for McCain's military service as a fellow veteran who had been wounded in combat. In each program, Clark reminded the commentator and the viewing public that while he honors McCain's service, he has serious concerns about McCain's judgment in matters of national security policy, calling McCain "untested and untried."

(For information on Clark's civilian career, including his runs for president, see Wikipedia.)

Honoree ID: 205   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image