Despite early condemnation that he would not amount to anything more than a gangster, Gerald Gangaram is a retired U.S. Army Major, whom many consider a war hero from his combat service during “Operation Enduring Freedom”. Raised by a single mother in a low income area within Queens, New York City, he always strove to improve himself and hardly imagined being the recipient of numerous medals along a career piloting the Apache – an attack helicopter his enemies described as “The Dragon”.
Graduating from the US Military Academy at West Point in 2007 with a commission as an Aviation Officer, Gerald attended the Army’s flight school and ranked competitively to qualify in the Apache – the world’s most advanced helicopter. His first assignment was in Colorado serving as a platoon leader and then battalion adjutant / human resources officer. Quickly, Gerald’s supervisors regarded him as “the closer”, always the go-to leader trusted with the most difficult and time sensitive missions where failure was not an option.
In 2012, Gerald was an Executive Officer who led Soldiers and Officers into combat during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, held responsibility for aerial security in Afghanistan’s south, and flew hundreds of combat hours on numerous missions. A results-oriented manager with a servant leader mentality, Gerald ensured his people continually developed and remained the Army’s greatest asset.
Following his deployment, Gerald was chosen to command the Firebirds – the world’s largest attack company. As a result of his proven track record for team building and exemplary command, the Army extended his command and selected him to become an Army Strategist. Required to obtain a Master’s degree for his new role, Gerald moved to DC where he graduated Suma Cum Laude from Georgetown University with his MBA and from George Washington University with a Leadership and Management certificate. His final assignment was as Strategic Planner in the Pentagon’s Department of the Army Directorate of Strategy, Plans, and Policy.
Additionally, Gerald is a qualified Apache Instructor Pilot and graduate of SERE-C (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape) POW training. His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with Valor, the Army Senior Aviator Badge, and the Combat Action Badge. Gerald is a Herndon Directors Institute Fellow and serves on the Board of Directors of Communities in Schools of NOVA.
Now retired from the military after 11 years of distinguished active duty service, Gerald enjoys contributing to events where he can provide his unique perspective as a servant leader and plans to continue a life of public service; always forging forward.
“The only limits you have are the ones you set on yourself.”
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