Gregory D. Gadson

Gregory Dimitri Gadson (born February 19, 1966) is an American actor, motivational speaker, retired colonel in the United States Army and former commander of the U.S. Army Fort Belvoir garrison.[1] He is also a bilateral above-the-knee amputee. He served in the U.S. Army for more than 20 years as a field artillery officer and served on active duty for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operation Joint Forge, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Gregory D. Gadson
Gregory D. Gadson 0259.JPG
Col. Gadson at a Mount Vernon town meeting in 2012.
Born (1966-02-19) February 19, 1966 (age 54)
Chesapeake, Virginia
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
USA - Army Field Artillery Insignia.png Field Artillery
Years of service1989–2014
RankUS-O6 insignia.svg Colonel
Unit32 FA Rgt DUI.jpg 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment
Commands heldUnited States Army Installation Management Command Shoulder Patch.png U.S. Army Garrison: Fort Belvoir
32 FA Rgt DUI.jpg 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment
Battles/warsOperation Desert Storm
Kosovo War
Iraq War
War in Afghanistan
AwardsDistinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star (3 awards)
Purple Heart
Meritorious Service Medal
Army Commendation Medal

Education and military careerEdit

Gadson attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, graduating in 1989. He also holds a master's degree in information systems from Webster University and a master's degree in policy management from Georgetown University.[2] He is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College and the Advanced Field Artillery Officers Course and in 2010, he became an Army War College Fellow at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C.




On the night of May 7, 2007, while returning from a memorial service for two soldiers from his brigade, he lost both his legs and severely injured his right arm to a roadside bomb in Baghdad. He became one of the first military personnel to use a next-generation powered prosthetic knee with technology to make it possible for amputees to walk with confidence and with a more natural gait.[4]

Military awardsEdit

Distinguished Service 2 awards Legion of Merit Bronze Star Medal 3 awards Purple Heart
Meritorious Service Medal 4 awards Army Commendation Medal 4 awards Army Achievement Medal 4 awards National Defense Service Medal 2 awards
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal 3 awards Southwest Asia Service Medal 3 awards Afghanistan Campaign Medal Iraq Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal NATO Medal for Service in ex-Yugoslavia Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia) Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

Gadson is also authorized to wear the Combat Action Badge and the Master Parachutist Badge.[5]

Civil awardsEdit

He won the prestigious Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards in 2017 given by Viscardi center to honour the extraordinary leaders with disabilities.[6]


Gadson played football at West Point between 1985 and 1988, wearing the No. 98 jersey. In 2007, he was present when the New York Giants beat the Washington Redskins at FedExField at the invitation of West Point classmate Mike Sullivan, who was then on the coaching staff of the New York Giants. This win was the beginning of a 10-game road winning streak and came after Gadson had made an inspirational speech to the team. The streak culminated in the Giants winning Super Bowl XLII.[7] and in recognition for his contribution, Gadson received a specially minted Super Bowl ring.[8] Gadson has since remained with the team as a motivational speaker.

Acting careerEdit

Gadson made his acting debut in Battleship, a 2012 American science fiction naval war film, as Lieutenant Colonel Mick Canales, playing a war veteran who regains his appetite for the fight when Oahu is threatened by an alien attack. Director Peter Berg, having seen news articles about Gadson, decided to cast him as an army officer trying to recover from the loss of his legs.[citation needed]


Gadson has been an avid photographer for many years. His work has most recently been featured prominently in Coming Home: Journey, Community, Dialog, a public art project based in New York City that seeks to encourage communication between civilians and those who have served in the US military.[9]



  1. ^ Welcome to Fort Belvoir Home Page!
  2. ^ Wallace, Jennifer. "LEADERSHIP SYMPOSIUM: USMC commandant among speakers – The Citadel – Charleston, SC".
  3. ^ "Fort Belvoir Command Group". Fort Belvoir Public Affairs Office. Retrieved June 21, 2014.
  4. ^ "Lt Col Greg Gadson gets Power Knee". May 1, 2009. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
  6. ^ "2017 Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards Announced". Global Accessibility News. December 6, 2017.
  7. ^ "Lieutenant colonel Greg Gadson is Giants' inspirational co-captain". NY Daily News. New York. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
  8. ^ Rutherford, John (May 1, 2008). "'Super Bowl ring minted for a true giant'". NBC News. Archived from the original on April 19, 2012. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  9. ^ "Coming Home Journey Community and Dialog". Coming Home Journey Community and Dialog.

External linksEdit