General Harry H. Shelton was born in Tarboro, North Carolina on January 2, 1942. He became Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (1997 to 2001) and also held the position of Special Operations Command XVIII Airborne Corps, 82nd Airborne Division. He was involved in both the Vietnam War and Gulf War. His awards include: Defense Distinguished Service Medal (4), Army Distinguished Service Medal (5), Bronze Star (4, with ”V” Device, Combat Infantryman Badge, Military Free Fall Parachutist Badge, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, and the Congressional Gold Medal). As a youth he was raised just outside of the small town of Speed, North Carolina, Highway 122 which runs through Speed to Hobgood, North Carolina. It was later named General Henry Hugh Shelton Highway in his honor. He attended North Carolina State University and was a member of Pershing Rifles. He earned a degree in textiles while earning his Army commission through ROTC training. His education includes a master’s degree from Auburn University in 1973 as well as studies at the Air Command and Staff College and the National War College. He married Carolyn L. Johnson in 1963. He has been active in politics and served on many board of directors. His advice is still sought after.
A recent statue of him was erected and dedicated in Fayetteville on August 29, 2010.