Maj. Clark Howard Retires After 21 Years of Service
Maj. Clark Howard retires after serving 21 years in the Georgia State Defense Force (GSDF) during a ceremony held at Georgia National Guard headquarters, Clay National Guard Center, Marietta, Ga., Jan. 7, 2023. Maj. Howard, a well-known syndicated media personality, inspired one-third of the GSDF Force to join its ranks.
Georgia Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Thomas M. Carden Jr., GSDF Commanding General Brig. Gen. Mark D. Gelhardt Sr., and military personnel from both the National Guard and the GSDF joined Maj. Howard’s family and friends in attendance at his retirement ceremony.
Because he encouraged Georgia citizens to join either the GSDF or the Georgia National Guard, both organizations highly regard his commitment.
After the events of September 11, 2001, Maj. Howard joined the GSDF.
Maj. Howard served as a Senior Public Affairs Officer. He used the airwaves to tout the GSDF’s mission. He also made numerous public appearances at community events throughout the years. He frequently joined virtual GSDF orientation meetings—where potential recruits throughout the state met him online.
Maj. Howard also volunteered for a number of military missions, including Hurricane Katrina and the “snowmageddon” storms.
“For 21 years Clark has been providing volunteer service to the state of Georgia,” said GSDF Commanding General Brig. Gen. Mark D. Gelhardt Sr. “He has done a fantastic job for the State Defense Force.”
Brig. Gen. Thomas M. Carden Jr. presented Maj. Howard with the James Edward Oglethorpe (Olgethorpe) Award. James Edward Oglethorpe was a British Soldier, member of Parliament, philanthropist, and founder of the colony of Georgia. The Oglethorpe Award recognizes those who distinguished themselves with outstanding and exceptional service over an extended period of time.
Clark Howard has “more than earned it,’’ said Maj. Gen. Carden. “This business is about serving a cause larger than yourself. I can’t think of a better standard-bearer for a leader that spends every day of his life serving a cause larger than himself.”
Maj. Howard (promoted from Captain during the ceremony) received a Georgia commendation from the office of Brian P. Kemp. The award read, in part:
“Through his efforts, the GSDF has grown . . . with an estimated one-third of the GSDF (F)orce being recruited due to his tireless advocacy ad promotion; In addition to his service Caption Howard has dedicated himself to bettering his community, investing his time and resources in ventures, such as Habitat for Humanity and Clark’s Christmas Kids . . .”
The GSDF presented a plaque. The Public Affairs Office (PAO) presented a military musket and a certificate bearing the names of PAO personnel past and present.
During the ceremony, Maj. Howard also received numerous other medals and certificates.
Maj. Howard is a consumer affairs TV reporter on stations around the United States, an author of 10 books, and the host of a daily podcast. He is best known for his 24 years as a syndicated radio host.
He founded the Team Clark Consumer Action Center that has served more than a million Americans with money-related questions or problems during the past 30 years.
As a sponsor of Habitat for Humanity, Team Clark volunteers have built 92 homes across America, with five more slated for 2023.
For 32 years, his Clark’s Christmas Kids has partnered with the Georgia foster care system to help every foster child in the state receive holiday gifts. The program has served a quarter of a million children over the years.
Maj. Clark Howard is a native of Atlanta. He graduated from the American University in 1976 with a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Government. He earned his Master of Arts in Business Management in 1977 from Central Michigan University.
Maj. Howard and his wife, Lane, have three children, Rebecca, Stephi, and Grant, and two grandchildren, Clark and Max.
“I am so grateful. This has been the experience of a lifetime for me,” Maj. Howard said during the ceremony. “My heart remains right here in Georgia and with the Georgia State Defense Force.”