Lieutenant General Richard D. Clarke is Director for Strategic Plans and Policy, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. He provides strategic direction, policy guidance, and planning focus to develop and execute the National Military Strategy. Through the Director Strategic Plans and Policy, he enables the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to provide military advice to the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Council.
LG Clarke was born in Germany and raised in an Army family. He was commissioned into the Infantry in 1984 upon graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from West Point and a Master of Business Administration from Benedictine College. He is a graduate of the National War College and earned a master’s degree in Security and Strategic Studies.
LG Clarke has led Soldiers at all levels in Airborne, Ranger, Mechanized and Light Infantry units in five different divisions, the 173rd Airborne Brigade, and the 75th Ranger Regiment in the United States, Europe, Iraq and Afghanistan. LG Clarke has spent 6 years in the 75th Ranger Regiment as a company commander from 1994 to 1996, battalion commander from 2004 to 2006 and regimental commander from 2007 to 2009. He also served as commander of 3rd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division from 2002 to 2004. His most recent assignments include serving as the Director of Operations, Joint Special Operations Command from 2009 to 2011; Deputy Commanding General for Operations, 10th Mountain Division from 2011 to 2013; the 74th Commandant of Cadets, United States Military Academy at West Point from 2013 to 2014; and the 48th active duty commander of the 82nd Airborne Division.
LG Clarke’s deployments while serving in the aforementioned positions include Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operation Joint Guardian in Macedonia, three deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, four deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and one deployment as the commander of the Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command – Operation Inherent Resolve.
Decorations include: the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster); Bronze Star Medal (with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters); Meritorious Service Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters); Air Medal; Army Commendation Medal (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters); the Army Achievement Medal (with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters); the National Defense Service Medal (with Bronze Star); the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; and the Afghanistan Service Medal. MG Clarke also earned the Combat Infantryman Badge (with Star), the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge, the Military Free Fall Parachutist Badge, the Air Assault Badge, and the Ranger Tab.