Each year, the Global SOF Foundation presents at least one Lifetime Achievement Award to a deserving individual who has contributed to the growth and development to the global special operations community. Past recipients of this prestigious honor are listed below:
2018 Award Recipients
Ambassador Pedro Morenés
Spanish Ambassador to the United States, Former Minister of Defense, Spain
Pedro Morenés is the Ambassador of Spain in the United States of America. Ambassador Morenés, previously Spain’s Minister of Defense, was appointed Ambassador to the United States by Spain’s Council of Ministers on March 24, 2017.
Ambassador Morenés was born in Las Arenas in the province of Biscay in 1948. He obtained a Bachelor of Law from the University of Navarre and a Master’s Degree in Ship Management and Economics from the Bremen Institute of Shipping Economics.
Staff General Talib Shigati Mshari Al Kenani
Commander, Counter Terrorism Service – International (CTS-I), Iraq
Staff General Kenani is the Commander of the Iraq Counter Terrorism Service, reporting directly to the Prime Minister. He directs all efforts in counter terrorism strategy for Iraq and current combat operations within Iraq against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Staff General Kenani entered the service in 1968. He is a graduate of the Air Defense Basic Course, Military Academy and Iraq Staff College. He served in the Army Air Defense from 1984 to 1985; the Army Staff College as an instructor and Dean from 1986-1992; Army Air Defense Command from 1992 to 2003; National Security Council Advisor from 2004 to 2007; and as the Commander Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service from 2007 to present.
Staff General Kenani holds a Bachelor degree in Military Science, a Master Degree in Military Science, and a PHD in International Law. He has attended overseas courses beginning in 2008 at the Executive Seminar in Counter Terrorism Senior Level, hosted by the USA; in 2009 the 9th International Defense Conference in UAE; in 2009 the NEASA Alumni Meeting in Morocco; in 2010 the 8th Conference for Arab Experts in Egypt; and in 2014 the International Special Operations Forces Conference in Tampa, Florida.
Staff General Kenani was born 1 July, 1949 and is married with 6 Children and multiple grandchildren.
2017 Award Recipient
General Benoît Puga
Grand Chancellor of the Legion of Honor and Chancellor of the National Order of Merit, Former Military Advisor to the President, France
Army General Benoît Puga was born on January 30, 1953, in Saint-Mandé, Val-de-Marne, France. He entered the French military academy Ecole spéciale militaire de Saint-Cyr in September 1973 and upon graduation chose to serve in the infantry. He served for several years in the 2 nd Parachute Regiment of the Foreign Legion (Régiment Etranger de Parachutistes) and became its commanding officer from 1996 to 1998. As a member in this regiment, he served in many locations, including Kolwezi (Zaire), Gabon, Beirut, Bangui (Central African Republic), Chad, Bosnia and Congo.
After graduating from the Ecole de Guerre (War College), he commanded a class of officer cadets of the Ecole spéciale militaire de Saint-Cyr in Coëtquidan from 1989 to 1992, and served several times on the General Staff. He also served in former Yugoslavia for more than two years, in 1994-1996 and 1999. In 1999-2000, he attended the 52nd session of IHEDN (Institut des hautes études de défense nationale: Higher institute for national defense studies) and the 49th session of CHEM (Centre des hautes études militaires). Appointed General Officer on September 1 st , 2002, he was successively Chief of the CPCO (Centre de planification et de conduite des opérations, 2002-2004), Special Operations Commander (2004-2007), Deputy Chief of the General Staff for Operations (2007-2008), and Director of Military Intelligence (2008-2010). On March 5, 2010, he was appointed Chief of the Special Military Staff of the President of the French Republic (Chef de l’état-major particulier du président de la République) and promoted to the rank and title of Army General on March 10, 2010.
On September 1 st , 2016, Army General Benoît Puga assumed the positions of Grand Chancellor of the Legion of Honor and Chancellor of the National Order of Merit. He holds the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor and the Grand Cross of the National Order of Merit. He has been awarded the Cross for Military Valor with eight mentions for bravery. He graduated with an engineering degree from the Ecole spéciale militaire de Saint-Cyr, and also holds a master of advanced studies in policy and international relations as well as a master’s degree in history.
2016 Award Recipients
Adm (Ret.) William H. McRaven
Chancellor, University of Texas System, Former Commander of USSOCOM
University of Texas System Chancellor William H. McRaven, a retired U.S. Navy four-star admiral, leads one of the nation’s largest and most respected systems of higher education. As the chief executive officer of the UT System, Chancellor McRaven oversees 14 institutions that educate 221,000 students and employ 20,000 faculty and more than 80,000 health care professionals, researchers and staff.
Prior to becoming chancellor, McRaven was the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command during which time he led a force of 69,000 men and women and was responsible for conducting counter-terrorism operations worldwide. McRaven also is a recognized national authority on U.S. foreign policy and has advised presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and other U.S. leaders on defense issues. And his book, “Spec Ops: Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare: Theory and Practice,” published in several languages, is considered a fundamental text on special operations strategy.
McRaven’s military legacy goes beyond strategy and warfare. As commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, McRaven spearheaded the creation of the Preservation of the Force & Family initiative to ensure the mental, spiritual and physical well-being of those who serve, as well as their families. His wife, Georgeann, has dedicated much of her career to playing a leadership role with military families and wounded warriors.
McRaven has been recognized for his leadership numerous times by national and international publications and organizations. In 2011, he was the first runner-up for Time magazine’s Person of the Year and was named Texan of the Year by the Dallas Morning News. In 2012, Foreign Policy magazine named McRaven one of the nation’s Top 10 Foreign Policy Experts and one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers. In 2014, Politico magazine named McRaven one of the Politico 50, citing his leadership as instrumental in cutting though Washington bureaucracy.
He also has received the Republic of France’s Legion d’Honneur, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association’s National Award and the National Intelligence Award.
More recently, in 2015, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum selected McRaven to receive the Intrepid Freedom Award for his distinguished service in promoting and defending the values of democracy. Also in 2015, he was presented with the Distinguished Service Award from the FBI Agents Association, which represents more than 13,000 active and retired FBI Special Agents. In 2016, McRaven was named the recipient of the Ambassador Richard M. Helms Award by the Central Intelligence Agency Officers Memorial Foundation.
Born in North Carolina, the son of an Air Force colonel, McRaven spent most of his childhood in San Antonio where he graduated from Roosevelt High School.
McRaven graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1977 with a degree in journalism and received his master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey in 1991. In 2012, the Texas Exes honored McRaven with a Distinguished Alumnus Award.
He met his wife, Georgeann, while they were students at UT Austin, and they have three grown children.
General Adrian Bradshaw
General Sir Adrian Bradshaw has degrees in Agriculture (BSc Hons, Reading University 1979), Defence Studies (MA, King’s College London, 1991) and International Relations (MA, King’s College London, 2005). He has also been a Visiting Defence Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford (2011).
He joined the 14th/20th King’s Hussars in 1980. As a junior officer he served in Germany, Northern Ireland, Africa, the Middle East, South East Asia and the Falkland Islands, first as a tank troop leader and Regimental Intelligence Officer, and then detached from his Regiment flying helicopters followed by a further troop-level command tour. He commanded twice at squadron-level, on armour with his Regiment and then detached with another unit, serving in Germany, the Americas and the Balkans. From 1994-1996, he commanded the King’s Royal Hussars (KRH), first providing the enemy force at the UK Armoured Training Area in Alberta, Canada, and then as Battlegroup Commander on operations in Bosnia.
After command, he went on to the UK Higher Command and Staff Course, and served in Military Operations in the MOD. On promotion to brigadier, he went to 3rd (US) Army in Kuwait, planning for Land operations in Iraq. He then became Deputy Commander of US Task Force West in the Iraq region before Commanding the UK 7th Armoured Brigade in Iraq. After attending the Royal College of Defence Studies in London, he became a Component Director in the MoD, being promoted in post to Major General in Nov 07. In Mar 09, he took command of 1st (UK) Armoured Division based in Germany, training brigades for operations in Afghanistan. He has since attended the US Army Strategic Leadership Programme (Advanced) and the US Joint Pinnacle Course. He became Deputy Commander of ISAF in Afghanistan in late 2011 and Commander UK Land Forces in Jan 2013. He then became the DSACEUR on 28 Mar 2014.
General Bradshaw is married to Sally. They have 3 children and enjoy gardening and lurchers. In addition General Bradshaw shoots, plays polo and sketches with watercolours.
Would you like to nominate someone for a GSF Lifetime Achievement Award? Submit your suggestion and your reasoning to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.