SOS Executive Director
Colonel Daniel W. Jacobowitz, USAF, (Ret.)
Colonel Daniel W. (Jake) Jacobowitz, Executive Director, Special Operations Speaks (SOS) is responsible for all SOS administrative and business operations. Jake has extensive experience in political-military operations, counterinsurgency, Stabilization, Security, Transition, and Reconstruction Operations, on the ground Military Civic Action, and governmental and military persuasive communications.
Originally a Titan II missile launch officer, Jake volunteered for duty as a Military Civic Action Officer, serving sequentially at Takhli, Udorn, Nakorn Phanom, and Korat Royal Thai Air Force Bases. At Nakorn Phanom his activities on the ground supported intelligence and reconnaissance operations for the Mayaguez Rescue, the evacuation of Saigon, and rescue sorties throughout Southeast Asia, as a member of the USAF 56th Special Operations Wing. After a tour as a faculty member of the USAF Squadron Officer School, during which he earned a Master’s Degree in Political Science, he served in Korea in the RoK/US Combined Forces Command Headquarters in Seoul, Korea. His duties focused on analyzing and responding to North Korean propaganda and its military violations of the armistice agreement. During this period, his Air Command and Staff College thesis appeared in the Air University Review, and was selected as the magazine’s “Article of the Year.” Upon returning to the U.S., he taught at Air Command and Staff College for a short time, his tour there being cut short by a White House requested tour of duty assigned to the Department of State, where he served as the Executive Officer to the Ambassadorial-level Coordinator for Latin American Public Diplomacy. During this period he traveled extensively to Central America and worked with the National Security Council to assist in U.S. foreign policy development, dissemination, and direct action. He then joined the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Security Policy, where he served first as the Deputy Director for Psychological Operations, and later as the Director. While nominally learning Spanish at the Foreign Service Institute, he assisted greatly in developing the PSYOP plan for Operation Desert Storm. In his assignment to Panama he established and directed the Center for Treaty Implementation as the Center worked closely with the U.S. Embassy, U.S. Southern Command, and the Panamanian Government to revert U.S. military property in an orderly manner that would preserve these valuable assets for Panamanian Government use. In his final assignment he served as the Senior Defense Advisor to the Director, United States Information Agency, where he led efforts to diminish the effectiveness of Saddam Hussein’s and Soviet propaganda campaigns against the United States Armed Forces.
Upon his retirement, Jake worked as a defense contractor. Notable assignments included planning for the implementation of General Shalikashvili’s Joint Vision 2010 and 2020. He later served as the Secretariat of the Joint Training Functional Capabilities Board, developing new joint and education methods and equipment. After that position, he moved to the National Guard Bureau, where he served sequentially as the Senior Strategic Editor, responsible for accuracy and completeness of all Chief, National Guard Bureau (CNGB) documents. He later served as the CNGB speechwriter, proposing and completing all public and in house presentations for General Frank Grass USA. Jake formally retired in April of this year and immediately offered his services to Special Operations Speaks. He is married to the former Saifon Kokphae, of Nakorn Sawan, Thailand, an accountant for a non-profit association. They have three children and 5 grandchildren, and reside in Lorton, Virginia.
LTG (Ret) William G. “Jerry” Boykin
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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