Last evening Ed and I had dinner with COL Danny McKnight and his wonderful wife, Linda. What a privilege! We spent four hours together and Danny will help Operation Safety 91 move forward in its mission of Honoring and Protecting America's Protectors. Linda gave a donation to OS91 for the Psalm 91 cards.
COL Danny McKnight retired in January 2002 after serving 28 ½ years in a distinguished and highly decorated career as a U.S. Army Ranger. His experience represents a lifetime of dedication to the defense of America.
COL McKnight's final assignment was as the Chief of Staff for First Army, based at Fort Gillem, Georgia. His efforts as the Commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment elements assigned to Task Force Ranger in Mogadishu, Somalia were chronicled in the book Black Hawk Down and the movie by the same name.
In addition to his expertise in many military matters, highlights of his skills in the leadership and management aspects of his career include:
• Providing direct financial management, guidance, and oversight of an annual
operational budget of approximately $50 million.
• Developing a strategic planning concept and a measurable results program to
track its successful implementation for the integration of active and reserve
component soldiers as part of the Armys training strategy for the year 2000
• Directing a staff of more than 200 military and DA civilian personnel to
provide support for a field force of 10,000 people, who had to meet the
training requirements for approximately 250,000 reserve component
COL McKnight also has had extensive experience in the areas of communications, public affairs, and emergency management.
COL McKnights awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit with Two Oak Leaf Clusters; Bronze Star for Valor; Purple Heart; Meritorious Service medal with Five Oak Leaf Clusters; National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with Arrowhead and Bronze Star; Combat Infantrymans Badge; Ranger Tab; Master Parachutist Badge with Combat Star; and Pathfinder Badge.
He graduated from the U.S. Army War College, Air Command and Staff College, Infantry Officer Advanced Course, Ranger School, Airborne School, and Infantry Officer Basic Course. He also served as an Assistant Professor of Military Science in the University of Florida Army ROTC Department.
COL McKnight earned his Masters Degree in Higher Education and Administration from the University of Florida in 1985, and his Bachelors Degree in Management from Florida State University in 1973.