During a ceremony on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, at Fort Bragg, retired Maj. Gen. Gary Harrell was inducted as a Distinguished Member of the Special Forces Regiment. He commanded soldiers in operations against drug kingpin Pablo Escobar while leading the Squadron C, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment Delta in April 1992. During the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu, he was sent as a ground force commander in Somalia.
For his service in Afghanistan and Iraq, Maj. Gen. John Harrell received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf clusters. Sgt. Maj. Robert Roberson of Special Activities Command said Harrell made a “brave” decision that “established the tone” for US special ops operations in Iraq.
On its first operational deployment to the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa, Harrell headed the task force. The award-winning leader continues to give back to the Special Forces community by collecting money for injured or sick military men and their families.