Special Air Warfare Symposium

Moderator: Major General (Ret.) Mark Clark

Moderator: Major General (Ret.) Mark Clark

Former Commander, U.S. Marines Special Operations Command

Mark “Droopy” Clark, MajGen USMC (Retired) is a native of South Dakota and Minnesota. He is a 1980 graduate of South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Commercial Economics. He received his commission as a Second Lieutenant in June 1981 upon completion of Officer Candidate School. In 1983, 2ndLT Clark was designated a naval aviator. As a CH-53E pilot stationed at Marine Corps Air Station New River, NC, he spent numerous assignments at various squadrons to include several Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) deployments. In 2007 he was designated an MV-22 Osprey pilot. As a Platoon Commander for 2d Brigade Platoon, 2d Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, Captain Clark was tasked with primary support to the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division and involved training support with SOF and the British Royal Marines.

As a Brigadier General, he was assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps in the Pentagon as the Director of Plans, Strategy and International Engagement. During this period he served as a member of the Inter-American Defense Board. His assignments with special operations range from the tactical level to the strategic level. His first assignment as a Captain/Major was as a MH-53J PAVELOW pilot with the 20th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Florida. Later he was assigned to Theater Special Operations Command (Central), Combined Special Operations Task Force South in Afghanistan, and later to Combined Forces Special Operations Command Central in Qatar. As a Colonel he was assigned to the Campaign Support Group/Center for Special Operations which was newly established by US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to take the DOD lead for the global war on terrorism. BGen Clark was later assigned as the first Marine J3 at USSOCOM, with an extended assignment as the Chief of Staff and acting Deputy Commander. His most recent assignment with special operations was as the commander for Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command.

His military education includes Aviation Safety, Aircraft Maintenance, two Masters in Military Studies, Seminar XXI Strategic Studies, and Doctorate in Public Service. Mark is married to the former Lisa Nicolos. They have three amazing children — Rachel, Nick and Mary.


Jointly Hosted by AFSOC and Global SOF

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Please note: Co-sponsorship of this event does not imply endorsement of Global SOF, its services, or products by the United States Government, the Department of Defense, or U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command.