William G. “Jerry” Boykin, LTG, USA (Ret), Special Forces
SOS Chief Executive Officer:Brigadier General Joseph S. Stringham, US Army (Ret.)
Colonel Richard F. (“Dick”) Brauer Jr. USAF, (Ret.)
Colonel Richard F. (“Dick”) Brauer Jr. USAF, (Ret.) is native of Needham, Massachusetts, graduating from Boston University in 1964 as an AFROTC Distinguished Military Graduate. Completing Undergraduate Navigator Training in 1966, he embarked upon a flying career in Tactical Airlift and Special Operations, amassing 5200 hours of worldwide flying, attaining the aeronautical rating of Master Navigator. His tours of flying duty and deployments include Southeast Asia/Vietnam (1967-68), Europe, Central and South America (1968- 1971) and Australia (1971-1973), where he represented the USAF and the United States as an Exchange Officer, flying as an instructor in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
Colonel Brauer has been assigned to a variety of Air Force and Joint Special Operations units during his career from unit to HQ and Joint Staff levels. Significantly, he was handpicked to be a “plank holder” as an Air Force member in the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) (1980-1983). He graduated with top honors from the United States Army War College in 1984 and then served in the Joint Special Operations Agency (JSOA) (1983-1986), the organization that preceded and led to the founding of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and subsequently the US Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC).
Following his Pentagon tour he was selected to be the 12th Commandant of the United States Air Force Special Operations School (Hurlburt Field, FL) and served the joint SOF, conventional and interagency communities in that education leadership position from 1986 until his retirement in 1991 having completed 26 years of active duty military service. In 2010 Colonel Brauer was inducted into the Air Commando Hall of Fame.
Ken Benway, LTC, USA (Ret.), Special Forces
Lieutenant Colonel Ken Benway is a co-founder of Special Operations Speaks. He enlisted in the U.S. Army as a parachute infantryman in 1966. He underwent Army Special Forces training and deployed to Vietnam, serving from 1967-68, as a Special Forces medic assigned to a Chinese Nung Company of the I Corps Mobile Strike Force, 5th Special Forces Group. In 1970, he completed Infantry Officer Candidate School, and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry. He then served in leadership assignments in both Germany and Italy with the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion Combat Team. Over the course of 27 years in uniform, he served with the 3d, 5th and 10 Special Forces Groups, with the Special Operations Command (Europe), as an Army foreign exchange program officer with the Susa Alpine Infantry Battalion (Italian Army) in northwest Italy, and with the US Army JFK Special Warfare Center and School.
On retiring in 1993, he served as senior special operations analyst, program manager and corporate director in a variety of contracted support arrangements with the U.S. Army Special Operations community. Lieutenant Colonel Benway is married, with four children and ten grandchildren.
Larry C. Johnson Senior researcher and subject matter expert (SME)
Larry C. Johnson is CEO and co-founder of BERG Associates, LLC, an international business-consulting firm with expertise combating terrorism and investigating money laundering. Mr. Johnson works with US military commands in scripting terrorism exercises, briefs on terrorist trends, and conducts undercover investigations on counterfeiting, smuggling and money laundering.
Mr. Johnson, who worked previously with the Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. State Department’s Office of Counter Terrorism, is a recognized expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, crisis and risk management.
Mr. Johnson has analyzed terrorist incidents for a variety of media including the Jim Lehrer News Hour, National Public Radio, ABC’s Nightline, NBC’s Today Show, the New York Times, CNN, Fox News, and the BBC. Mr. Johnson has authored several articles for publications, including Security Management Magazine, the New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times. He has lectured on terrorism and aviation security around the world, including the Center for Research and Strategic Studies at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, France. He represented the U.S. Government at the July 1996 OSCE Terrorism Conference in Vienna, Austria.
From 1989 until October 1993, Larry Johnson served as a Deputy Director in the U.S. State Department’s Office of Counter Terrorism. He managed crisis response operations for terrorist incidents throughout the world and he helped organize and direct the US Government’s debriefing of US citizens held in Kuwait and Iraq, which provided vital intelligence on Iraqi operations following the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Mr. Johnson also participated in the investigation of the terrorist bombing of Pan Am 103. Under Mr. Johnson’s leadership the U.S. airlines and pilots agreed to match the US Government’s two million-dollar reward.
From 1985 through September 1989 Mr. Johnson worked for the Central Intelligence Agency. During his distinguished career, he received training in paramilitary operations, worked in the Directorate of Operations, served in the CIA’s Operation’s Center, and established himself as a prolific analyst in the Directorate of Intelligence. In his final year with the CIA he received two Exceptional Performance Awards.
Mr. Johnson is a member of the American Society for Industrial Security. He taught at The American University’s School of International Service (1979-1983) while working on a Ph.D. in political science. He has a M.S. degree in Community Development from the University of Missouri (1978), where he also received his B.S. degree in Sociology, graduating Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1976.
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