Download the Biography here.
COL Danny R. McKnight, USA (Ret.)
Colonel Danny R. McKnight, U.S. Army, Retired,
was born in Columbus, Georgia…moved to Rockledge, Florida in
1959…graduated from Cocoa High School in 1969 and Brevard Community
College in 1971. He was a Distinguished Military Graduate from Florida
State University in 1973, where he earned a BS Degree in Management. In
1985, Danny earned his Masters Degree in Higher Education from the
University of Florida while assigned as an Assistant Professor of
Military Science in the ROTC Department. Among his numerous military
assignments were the following:
Executive Officer, 3rd Ranger
Battalion, Fort Benning, GA
Executive Officer, 75th Ranger
Regiment, Fort Benning, GA
Battalion Commander, 4th Battalion 27th
Infantry, Schofield Barracks, HI
Battalion Commander, 3rd Ranger
Battalion, Fort Benning, GA
Student, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle
Chief of Staff, First U.S. Army, Fort Gillem, GA
His military career also included combat duty on
two occasions – Panama 1989 and Somalia 1993 (basis for the Book and
Movie “Black Hawk Down”). Colonel McKnight’s awards and decorations
include the Legion of Merit (2 awards), the Bronze Star Medal for Valor,
the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Ranger Tab, the
Master Parachutist Badge with Combat Star, and the Pathfinder Badge.
After completing 28 and one-half years of service to our country,
Colonel McKnight returned to his hometown in Florida. He has served in
two Homeland Security related positions in Brevard County…as the
Homeland Security Coordinator for the County’s Emergency Management
Office, then as the Homeland Security Training Coordinator in the
Criminal Justice Center at Brevard Community College. Colonel McKnight
now focuses all his efforts on being a nationwide motivational speaker.
He and his wife, Linda, reside in Rockledge, Florida.
Colonel McKnight brings his experience to others
through his presentation that provides a better understanding of the
unparalleled commitment and leadership required to be successful when
executing operations in the most difficult and severe situations. Many
key values associated with successful leadership will be highlighted and
referenced throughout the presentation. The real world experiences
associated with his involvement in the event of October 1993 in
Mogadishu, Somalia, will be expounded on to relate the commitment and
leadership necessary to achieve mission success.
COLONEL DANNY R. MCKNIGHT
Colonel Danny R. McKnight was a
distinguished military graduate from Florida State University in 1973.
He graduated with a B.S. in Management, then completed the Infantry
Officer Basic Course, Airborne and Ranger Schools.
Colonel McKnight was assigned to the
Mountain Ranger Camp in March 1974 where he served as a Company
Executive Officer and Instructor. Upon completion of the Infantry
Officer Advance Course, he served in Korea as a Battalion Adjutant and
was Aide-De-Camp to the Commanding General, 2d Infantry Division.
Following this tour, COL McKnight returned to Fort Benning where he
served as Aide-De-Camp for the same General Officer who was the
Commanding General at Fort Benning. While at Fort Benning, he was
assigned to the 1st Battalion 58th Infantry (Mech)
where he commanded Company C for 22 months. Next, he was assigned
as an Assistant Professor of Military Science at the University of
Florida ROTC Department. While at the university, COL McKnight
earned his Masters Degree in Higher Education and Administration.
He then attended Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force
Base, Alabama. Following this, COL McKnight returned to Fort Benning where he served as
the Adjutant, 75th Ranger Regiment; S3, 3d Battalion, 14th
Infantry; S5, 75th Ranger Regiment; Executive Officer, 3d
Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment; and Executive Officer, 75th
Ranger Regiment. He departed Fort Benning for Schofield Barracks,
Hawaii where he commanded 4-27th Infantry for 19 months.
Upon his return from Hawaii, he assumed command of 3d Ranger Battalion
on 11 February 1993 where he commanded for 17 months. He then attended
the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, PA. After graduation
from the War College, he was assigned as the Senior Adviser at the 29th
Infantry Division, Fort Belvoir, VA. He then assumed duties as the
Deputy Chief of Staff, Training, First U.S. Army, Fort Gillem, GA for 2
½ years. His final assignment was as the Chief of Staff, First U.S.
Army, serving for 19 months before retiring on January 1, 2002.
Colonel McKnight’s awards and
decorations include the Legion of Merit (2OLC), the Bronze Star Medal
W/V Device, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal (5OLC), the
Army Commendation Medal (1OLC), the Army Achievement Medal, the National
Defense Service Medal w/Bronze Star, the Armed Forces Expeditionary
Medal w/Arrowhead and Bronze Star, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the
Ranger Tab, The Master Parachutist Badge w/Bronze Star and the
Colonel McKnight and his wife Linda reside in Rockledge, Florida.