SOS Chairman

William G. “Jerry” Boykin, LTG, USA (Ret), Special Forces                                                                                                           

LTG (Ret.) William G. “Jerry” Boykin was one of the original members of the US Army's Delta Force. He was privileged to ultimately command these elite warriors in combat operations. Later, Jerry Boykin commanded all the Army's Green Berets as well as the Special Warfare Center and School.

In his thirty-six years in the army, LTG Boykin also served a tour with the CIA. He has participated in clandestine operations around the world and served his last four years in the Army as the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. Today he is an ordained minister with a passion for spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ and encouraging Christians to become Warriors in God's Kingdom.

Since June of 2012, Jerry has been serving as the Executive Vice President of the Washington DC based Family Research Council. He is also the occupies the Wheat Chair for Leadership Studies at Hampden Sydney College in Virginia.

Jerry & wife Ashley, enjoy spending time with their 5 children and growing number of Grandchildren.


SOS Chief Executive Officer:

Brigadier General Joseph S. Stringham, US Army (Ret.)

General Joe Stringham retired from active duty after more than thirty-two years of military service, during which time he commanded at every echelon from rifle platoon through brigade.  This included command of the 75th Ranger Regiment; three US Army Infantry Battalions, including the 1st Ranger Battalion; and the US Military Group in El Salvador at a pivotal point in the war in that country.  He has served at the highest levels of the US Army staff in the Pentagon and as the senior military attaché in the US Embassies in Brazil and Mexico.  In the latter, he was the focal point for directing Department of Defense activities associated with the counter-narcotics interdiction effort in these regions.  Over half of his military service has been in overseas theaters ranging from East- and SE Asia to the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America.  Of particular note is the fact that he has served forty-two months of his thirty-two years with units engaged in close combat. He has numerous decorations for valor in addition to El Salvador’s Medalla de Oro (Gold Medal).  General Stringham is an Airborne Ranger Infantryman who, as a Green Beret, organized, trained, and led in combat the first MIKE Force unit (an indigenous rapid-reaction force unit) in Vietnam. The MIKE Force became legendary in US Army Vietnam lore and was featured in the John Wayne movie, “The Green Berets.”  He was inducted into the prestigious Ranger Hall of Fame in 1995 and into the Special Forces Hall of Fame in 2010.

Since retirement from active duty, General Stringham has worked in both the public and private sectors of the US as well as overseas in Brazil, Mexico, Angola, and the UAE.  He has been a frequent lecturer in numerous Latin American countries on the subject of “Strategy Development in Counter-Terrorist Operations.”

General Stringham holds a BS in Engineering from West Point (1961) and an MA in International Relations (Latin American Studies) from the University of South Carolina.  He is a graduate of the US Army War College and completed the National Defense University Capstone Course.  He is fluent in Brazilian Portuguese and has a working knowledge of Latin American Spanish.

SOS Founders:

Larry Bailey, CAPT (SEAL), USN (Ret.)

A native of Marshall, Texas, and a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State College (BS) and East Carolina University (M.Ed), Captain Bailey is a 1962 Navy OCS graduate who served aboard ship before completing UDT/SEAL Training in 1963. He was a platoon commander in both UDT-22 and SEAL Team TWO in Little Creek, VA, and deployed to Viet Nam from the latter in 1967. He was later Executive Officer of UDT-12 in Coronado, CA; Commanding Officer of Naval Special Warfare Unit TWO in Machrihanish, Scotland; and Commanding Officer of Naval Special Warfare Center in Coronado, CA. He has had tours of duty in Panama, Bolivia, and Scotland, in addition to numerous stateside assignments. He is a sub-specialist in Latin American Politico-Military Affairs and is a Spanish linguist. He served 27 years on active duty.Captain Bailey chaired Vietnam Vets for Truth during the 2004 presidential campaign and is the current chairman of Gathering of Eagles, a military support organization.Captain Bailey is married and the father of two adult children.

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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