Please join us for an evening of “Remembrance and Reflection” on the 20th anniversary of September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. We honor and remember the victims of the tragedies in New York City, The Pentagon, and Shanksville, PA. Our guest speakers for the evening are:
Colonel (Ret.)Mark E. Mitchell is a former senior executive in DOD who served most recently as the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict (ASD(SO/LIC)). He is also highly decorated U.S. Army infantry and Special Forces combat veteran who served 28 years on active duty. He participated in multiple combat tours in the First Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq. In recognition of his actions during the Battle of Qala-I Jangi in November 2001, he received the Distinguished Service Cross, our Nation’s second-highest decoration for valor in combat. He served four tours in the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), commanding at every level from detachment to group. In addition to commanding 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Colonel Mitchell simultaneously commanded a nationwide, Joint Special Operations Task Force in Iraq during 2010-2011. After relinquishing command of 5th SFG(A), Colonel Mitchell served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as the Senior Military Assistant to ASD(SO/LIC). His final assignment in uniform was on the National Security Council as a Director for Counterterrorism. In this assignment he was intimately involved in significant hostage cases and recovery efforts in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia. He was instrumental in establishing the framework for the landmark Presidential Policy Review of Hostage Policy, which resulted in significant changes in organization and policy for hostage recovery. Following his retirement from active duty, Mitchell worked as a business executive in the private sector. Mitchell holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Marquette University and a Master of Science degree in Defense Analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School. He also served as a National Security Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and non-resident fellow at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. He has lectured at Harvard Business School, the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Joint Special Operations University, the U.S. Army War College, the National Defense University, and the United States Military Academy. He is also a board member and advisor to several non-profit organizations dedicated to serving veterans and their families, including Warriors Ethos, Gold Star Teen Adventures, the Global SOF Foundation, and Special Operations Survivors. He currently serves as a strategic advisor for Navigators Global Defense, Intelligence, Security and Space practice. He is married to the former Mary Ann Kilton of Montgomery, Alabama and they have two college-age daughters, Caroline (USMA ‘21) and Margaret (College of William & Mary/University of St. Andrews).
Lieutenant General (Retired) Ken Tovo culminated his 35-year military career in 2018, serving as the commander of the US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC). He was responsible for manning, training, equipping, and providing strategic direction to all the Army’s Special Operations forces (Green Berets, Rangers, Special Ops Aviation, Civil Affairs, and Psychological Operations), a combined organization of over 34,000 people. He began his service in the Infantry upon graduation from the US Military Academy in 1983. After serving his initial tour with the 82nd Airborne Division, Tovo completed the Special Forces Qualification Course and transferred to the Special Forces branch. He served as a Special Forces detachment, company, battalion, and group commander in the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne). Tovo’s additional assignments included serving as a plans and operations officer with 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta and Joint Headquarters Center (NATO); Aide de-Camp to the Commander, Stabilization Force, Bosnia; Chief of Staff, USASOC; Deputy Commanding General, Special Operations Command Europe; Director, Special Operations Division-Iraq; Deputy Commanding General, 1st Armored Division/U.S. Division Center, Iraq; Commanding General, Special Operations Command Central; Commanding General, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan and NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan; and Deputy Commander, US Southern Command in Miami, Fla. LTG Tovo’s operational assignments include the first Gulf War, refugee relief operations in Northern Iraq, noncombatant evacuation operations in Sierra Leone, peacekeeping operations in Bosnia on two occasions, five tours in Iraq, and one tour in Afghanistan. He earned a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the US Military Academy at West Point, a MS in Advanced Military Studies from the US Army Command & General Staff College, and a MS in Strategic Studies from the US Army War College. He is the President & CEO of DOL Enterprises, Inc., a consulting firm focused on providing advice on strategic planning, risk management, and organizational effectiveness and serves on the board of several companies. Ken and his wife, Suzanne, have been married for 34 years. They raised two sons who both serve the Nation – one as a Special Forces officer and the other as a high school English teacher.
A former Green Beret, Brent Cooper has 20 years’ collective experience serving in the military and high-level civilian business leadership roles in operational and strategic planning, business development, marketing, full life-cycle recruiting, and program management. He brings both the passion for service and the business acumen necessary to carry the foundation’s mission forward into the future. Brent spent over a decade working in the corporate world before enlisting in the Army under the 18X program at the age of 30. He completed the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2012 and served as a Commo Sergeant (18E) in the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. His service includes one tour to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, where he earned a Bronze Star Medal. Brent successfully rejoined the civilian workforce in 2015 to lead a reputable real estate property management company in Seattle, WA. While on active duty, Brent completed the final two years of his undergraduate degree and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration with honors, from the American Military University. He also holds an Executive Master of Business Administration from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. Brent’s unconventional path and multiple transitions have provided him with a unique perspective spanning both the civilian and military sectors. He understands the demands placed upon the Green Beret, the challenges of the family dynamic, and the nuances of the transition phase. He is committed to ensuring that the GBF team maintains its core programs while continuing to push forward, exploring new channels of support in order to further serve the Special Forces community. Brent resides in San Antonio, Texas with his wife, Shelley, and their very precocious 4-year old daughter, Dominique.