Mark “Droopy” Clark, MajGen USMC (ret’d) is a native of South Dakota and Minnesota. He is a 1980 graduate of South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Commercial Economics. He received his commission as a Second Lieutenant in June 1981 upon completion of Officer Candidate School. In 1983, 2ndLT Clark was designated a naval aviator. As a CH-53E pilot stationed at Marine Corps Air Station New River, NC, he spent numerous assignments at various squadrons which included several Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) deployments. In 2007, he was designated an MV-22 Osprey pilot.
As a Platoon Commander for 2d Brigade Platoon, 2d Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company Captain Clark was tasked with primary support to the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division and involved training support with SOF and the British Royal Marines. As a Brigadier General, he was assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps in the Pentagon as the Director of Plans, Strategy and International Engagement. During this period he served as a member of the Inter-American Defense Board.
His assignments with special operations range from the tactical level to the strategic level. His first assignment as a Captain/Major was as a MH-53J PAVELOW pilot with the 20th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fl. Later he was assigned to Theater Special Operations Command (Central), Combined Special Operations Task Force South in Afghanistan and later to Combined Forces Special Operations Command Central in Qatar. As a Colonel he was assigned to the Campaign Support Group/Center for Special Operations which was newly established by US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to take the DOD lead for the global war on terrorism. BGEN Clark was later assigned as the first Marine J3 at USSOCOM, with an extended assignment as the Chief of Staff and acting Deputy Commander. His most recent assignment with special operations was as the commander for Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command.
Assignments included deployments and operations in Southwest Asia (Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm); Bosnia; Haiti; Afghanistan. As a pilot he was qualified in the CH-53E; MH-53J PAVELOW, and the MV-22 Osprey. His command assignments include Platoon Commander 2D Air naval Gunfire Liaison Company; Commanding Officer Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461; Commanding Officer Marine Medium Tilt Rotor Squadron 204; Commanding General Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command.
His military education includes Aviation Safety, Aircraft Maintenance, two Masters in Military Studies, Seminar XXI Strategic Studies, and Doctorate in Public Service.
Mark is married to the former Lisa Nicolos. They have three amazing children – Rachel, Nick and Mary.