Colonel (Retired) Gregory D. Gadson, a Chesapeake, Va., native, served our nation in the United States Army for more than 26 years. Col. Gadson’s service culminated as the Garrison Commander of Fort Belvoir, where he oversaw the daily operations of the post, a strategic sustaining base where more than 50,000 military personnel and employees provide logistical, intelligence, medical and administrative support, and command and control for a mix of more than 140 commands and agencies for the Department of Defense.
A 25-year career Army officer, Col. Gadson’s life is a portrait of courage in the face of great adversity. In May 2007, as commander of the 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery, Col. Gadson’s greatest challenge came in Iraq, where an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack cost him both legs above the knees and normal use of his right arm and hand. Despite this, Col. Gadson remained on active duty in the Army and continued to inspire many with his message of courage, perseverance, determination and teamwork. Refusing to be defined by his severe and permanent injuries, he has continued to draw upon the lessons of Pride, Poise and Team, learned as a West Point linebacker, and apply them to his life, career and family.
He was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant of Field Artillery in 1989 from West Point. He has served in every major conflict of the past two decades, including Operations Desert Shield/Storm in Kuwait; Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia-Herzegovina; Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He announced his retirement from US army in 2014. Col. Gadson has served in various assignments throughout the world dedicating himself to leading the Soldiers, civilian employees and family members in living the Army Values of Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage. He is a passionate advocate for wounded warriors, veterans and those with disabilities; on several occasions testifying before Congress on issues related to these groups.
In 2007, Tom Coughlin, New York Giants head coach, asked Col. Gadson to meet with the then-struggling team. Col. Gadson talked to the players about service, teamwork, duty, perseverance and adversity. Although he refuses to take any credit, the Giants players and coaches have heralded the key inspirational role he played in their unprecedented season culminating as victors of the 2008 Super Bowl. Col. Gadson currently maintains his mentoring relationship with the Giants. In addition, Col. Gadson has delivered his inspirational message and leadership counsel to numerous sports teams, corporate and non-profit organizations and government agencies.
Col. Gadson also established himself as an actor, acting in several movies and appearing in many TV shows. In 2012, he starred in an American military science fiction action war film Battleship portraying the role of Lieutenant Colonel Mick Canales. He is also an avid photographer.
We honor you, Gregory Gradson.