Just months before the end of his second term as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Shelton made his last formal appearance before The American Legion, receiving its 2001 Distinguished Service Medal.

National Commander Ray G. Smith said that to be considered for the Distinguished Service Award, "one must demonstrate outstanding service to the nation and to the programs of The American Legion. Our recipient this year is well qualified."

Speaking just weeks before the 9/11 attacks, Shelton said the United States must be prepared for future threats, including those from terrorist organizations. He also emphasized the need to keep up with technology, and to bolster the nation's military strength.

Commenting on his upcoming retirement, the general told Legionnaires, "I am comforted by the fact that I will acquire a new title upon retirement: ‘Hugh Shelton, veteran.'"

During his 37-year Army career, the much-decorated Shelton served two tours of duty in Vietnam, followed by command and staff assignments. Since retiring, he has served on the boards of Red Hat Corp. and Anheuser-Busch, among other corporations. He is executive director of the Gen. Hugh Shelton Leadership Center at North Carolina State University, and director of the Hugh and Carolyn Shelton Military Neurotrauma Foundation.

For more on Shelton, click here (http://www.ncsu.edu/extension/sheltonleadership/shelton-forum/documents/...).


View more Distinguished Service Medal recipients