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General Hugh Shelton
Part 4 Timeline: 1996-2005
March 1996: The Sheltons move to Florida. General Shelton takes over as commander in chief of US Special Operations Command (CINCSOC) Based in Tampa.
Late June 1997: Pentagon invites General Shelton to interview for Chairman, Joint Chief of Staffs job.
July 16, 1997: General Shelton flies to Washington, DC to interview for chairman position. Later that day, President Clinton nominates him.
October 1, 1997: The Sheltons return to Washington, DC. General Shelton is sworn in as the 14th Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff.
August 7, 1998: Embassies at Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya are simultaneously attacked by car bombs. Hundreds of people—and twelve Americans—are killed. Al-Qaeda later identified as culprit.
August 20, 1998: Retaliation strikes against Al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan destroy nearly 50 buildings, kill 35-40 terrorists, but don’t capture Osama bin Laden.
November 1998: Meeting at Camp David results in Pres. Clinton signing orders for effective battle plan against Saddam Hussein that later becomes known as Operation Desert Fox.
December 16-19, 1998: Operation Desert Fox - Military strikes take out about 80 percent of Saddam Hussein’s weapon-delivery capabilities.
March 24, 1999: NATO authorizes Operation Allied Force, military strikes against Serbian objectives inside former Yugoslavia.
June 1999: Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic surrenders, Operation Allied Force is successfully completed.
January 20, 2001: George W. Bush inaugurated, 43rd US President.
September 11, 2001/ Morning: Speckled Trout, the airplane generally reserved for Air Force Chief, has just taken off, en route to Hungary. General Shelton and his wife, Carolyn, are on board. Soon thereafter, General Shelton is advised that a plane has hit the World Trade Center.
September 11, 2001/ 8:50 AM: General Shelton advised that a second plane has hit the World Trade Center. He orders the plane to return to Andrews Air Force Base.
September 11, 2001/ 6:42 PM: General Shelton, flanked by Senators John Warner and Carl Levin, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, gives live address around the world.
September 11, 2001/ Late evening: General Shelton attends first of several National Security Council (NSC) meetings.
September 12, 2001: During NSC meeting, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz push hard to attack Iraq.
September 15, 2001: After attending a meeting of President Bush’s principal advisors at Camp David, General Shelton returns home, tells Carolyn “I can almost guarantee you we’re going to invade Iraq before the end of Bush’s first term.”
October 2001: Term over, General Shelton retires from Joint Chiefs of Staff position.
March 23, 2002: While trimming a tree in his backyard, General Shelton falls off the ladder and slams headfirst into the ground. A doctor tells him later that day that he will never walk again.
June 13, 2002: 83 days after his fall, General Shelton walks out of Walter Reed under own power.
September 19, 2002: General Shelton receives Congressional Gold Medal, highest civilian honor in US.
2002: The General Hugh Shelton Leadership Center is founded at NC State.
April 2003: General Shelton joins the board at Red Hat.
2005: The Hugh & Carolyn Shelton Foundation is established, with the mission “to accelerate the development of innovative diagnostic devices, treatments, data collection, and prevention of traumatic brain injury in military personnel on the battlefield.”