Colonel Gary Clark is pictured on the left.

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Colonel Gary Clark retired from the United States Air Force (USAF) after 26 years of active duty. Colonel Clark began his career of service during the Vietnam War in the 56th Special Operations Wing and Headquarters 7th Air Force, after commissioning through the Kansas State University ROTC. Col. Clark then served as special assistant to the Air Force Chief of Staff focusing on force readiness policy in the wake of the overthrow of the Shah of Iran and the Afghanistan invasion by the Soviet Union. After this role, he served as the Director of Air Force Personnel Plans and Programs at the Air Force Military Personnel Center and, later, as Director of Personnel for Air Training Command.

Following these assignments, he was Combat Support Group Commander of the 487th Tactical Missile Wing in Italy under NATO control, during the design and implementation of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty with the then Soviet Union. His final role in his career of service in the USAF was during Desert Shield and Desert Storm during the 1990’s. Colonel Clark served as the United States Central Command J-1 Director responsible for force deployment, accountability, and POW repatriation.

After retiring from the Air Force, he served for 14 years as the Civil Service and Retirement System Director for the City of Lakeland and is currently a financial advisor with CPS Investment Advisors financial firm.

Colonel Gary Clark holds a master’s degree in operations research from the Air Force Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Kansas State University.  He is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College and the National War College of Defense University.

He served on the National Board of Directors of the Military Officers Association of America, is Vice Chairman of the Florida Veterans Foundation, Chairs the Polk County Veterans Council, is President of the Imperial Polk Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, is Chairman of Flight to Honor Polk, is Chairman of the Sun ‘n Fun Veterans Plaza, serves on the James A Haley VA hospital advisory board and the Summerlin Academy advisory board in addition to other boards and organizations.

In addition to his incredible acts of service and personal achievements, Colonel Clark has been invaluable to the College of Arts & Media in our mission to better the Central Florida region through faith-based liberal arts education. Colonel Clark has also been a link between the College of Arts & Media and Central Florida veterans and their families for Sinfonia: Connecting the Arts & Community, an event purposed to encourage and assist in the cultivation of a more unified community through the powerful medium of music.

For more information on partnering with the College of Arts & Media, click here.

For more information on Sinfonia: Connecting the Arts & Community, click here.

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