Introducing Loss Control Forum’s Special After Dinner Speaker: General Donald C. Bolduc
General Donald C. Bolduc
After 32 years of active duty service to his country in which he received 2 awards for valor, 5 Bronze Star medals, 2 Purple Hearts, led ten deployments, and survived both a bomb blast, numerous fire fights, and a helicopter crash, General Donald C. Bolduc, former Commander, Special Operations Command Africa, is hanging up his fatigues to take on perhaps his most important and challenging mission of advocating for the treatment and shedding the stigma of PTSD and mental health problems, both from within the US military as well as the general public. In addition, he is interested in teaching, coaching, and mentoring on leadership and acts as a senior advisor on Special Operations for the Center of Naval Analysis.
The general started his career as Private Bolduc on June 29, 1981, exactly 36 years before his final change of command. After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, then-Major Bolduc led one of the first groups into Afghanistan, riding on horseback to take control of the southern Afghanistan region from Taliban rule. One of the few survivors of a 2,000-pound bomb that was inadvertently targeted on their own position by friendly fire in December 2001, and despite his injuries Bolduc refused to leave the battlefield and continued to take on his next objective. He was later awarded his first of several combat valor awards and a Purple Heart for his injuries.
As the Battalion Commander of 1 st Battalion 3 rd Special Forces Group (Desert Eagles) Bolduc’s unit was credited with the success of Operation Medusa and awarded the Canadian Commander-in-Chief Unit Commendation for actions by the “Desert Eagles” that were considered an extraordinary deed or activity, of a rare high standard, in extremely hazardous circumstances, beyond the demands of normal duty in combat. This was the first time a foreign military unit received this distinction from the Canadian government and military. From 2010 through 2011 and 2012-2013 he served as Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force commander and then as Commander, Combined Joint Special Operations Component Commander in Afghanistan and was credited with the creation and establishment of the “Village Stability Operations” concept, a bottom-up stability effort in rural areas and villages in Afghanistan which undermined insurgent influence and control by the Taliban and ensured the stabilization of large areas of the war-torn country through Afghan Local Police.
In his role as Brigadier General, Bolduc was responsible for the full spectrum of Special Operations activities across the African continent and the more than 1,700 U.S. military, interagency and international military personnel operating in 28 countries throughout Africa and Europe. SOCAFRICA is designated as U.S. Africa Command’s lead counter-Violent Extremist Organizations (VEO) operations component. Prior to this, he served on the Joint Staff in the Office of Secretary of Defense and as the Aide to the Secretary of the Army at the Pentagon. His other awards and decorations include the Defense Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device, Army Commendation Medal with Valor Device, numerous foreign awards, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Special Forces Tab, and Ranger Tab.
Beyond his various positions and awards, nothing brings more meaning to Bolduc’s service than his latest mission with the support of his wife Sharon to combat the stigmas around post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), speak on leadership, and provide advice on Special Operations Forces. As one of the few senior military officers, and, at the time, the only active duty general officer on record, to openly discuss his own struggles with PTS, Bolduc has used his leadership position to change the conversation to one of understanding and acceptance through his own experiences. Dubbed “Captain America” and “Everyone’s General” by his fellow officers and soldiers, Bolduc always put country first, and now looks to continue his service off the battlefield sharing his leadership mantra of
“People, Family, Mission” and his personal experiences with mental health to continue his leadership journey and help educate others.
Bolduc is the recipient of a Medical Service Dog from Guardian Angels Medical Dog Service Inc. based in Williston, FL. Northrop Grumman sponsored the care and training of “Victor”. Bolduc paired in February 2018 with Victor and is now enjoying the benefits of a medical service dog.
Bolduc has an A.S. in Criminal Justice, B.S. in Sociology, M.A. in Business Technology/Human Resource Development, M.S. in Strategic Studies, and is currently a Doctoral Candidate at Liberty University in Strategic Leadership.
Bolduc is currently involved with the following organizations:
1. Appointed by the Governor of New Hampshire to serve as member of the Juvenile Parole Board
2. Senior Advisor for the Center of Naval Analysis that provides cutting-edge, expert analysis and high
quality, impartial information for effective decision making.
3. Advisor to Spirit of America and organization dedicated to directly supporting the safety and success of deployed US troops and diplomats.
4. Advisor to Guardian Angels Inc. a nationally recognized nonprofit organization that specializes in training and pairing service dogs.
5. Board member of IDS International a leader in training and support for complex operations
6. Board member of Trauma and Resiliency Resources, Inc. a provide multi-faceted, focused, trauma
interventions to first responders and warriors who develop symptoms of PTS and combat-related PTS
because of executing line of duty/service responsibilities.
7. Active supporter of Veterans Count a program of Easter Seals to support Veterans
8. A supporter of the morning show, New Hampshire Today, with Jack Heath, on Veteran Issues in New
9. Advisor to Vet Links that educates and empowers veterans and their families by linking them to
services, support, and programs to enrich their quality of life.
10. Board Advisor for Warriors Heart Foundation a PTS and addiction treatment center for active military,
veterans, and first responders.
11. Advisor to the Green Alert System designed to provide alerts to law enforcement and public on missing
service members and veterans.
12. Board of Advisors to Smitz Laboratories
13. Member of Outspoken Agency for public speaking
He has been married to Sharon M. Bolduc for 29 years and they have three sons Joshua, Zachary, and Matthew, as
well as three grandchildren Little “J “, Hadley, and Hannah.