Gary L. Flaherty

May 17, 2014


Command Sergeant Major

Command Sergeant Major Gary L. Flaherty

Award: Honoring Our Veterans

Year: 2014

Gary L. Flaherty served in the United States Army for over 23 years, rising from the rank of Private to the highest enlisted rank in the Army, and retiring as Command Sergeant Major. His duty assignments include Germany, Vietnam and Korea. One of Mr. Flaherty’s career highlights was serving as a member of the White House Task Force on transitioning from a draft Army to the current all volunteer Army. He was cited in 1971 for entering the Draft Board and removing a live hand grenade that Vietnam protesters had thrown through a window.

Mr. Flaherty is a former Canaan Town Supervisor. He has a commendable record of service to his community including, involvement with the NYS Council of Veterans’ Organizations, the Rip Van Winkle VFW Council, Canaan VFW, Annual Stand Down, Committee for Homeless Veterans, Vietnam Veterans of America, American Military Retiree Association, Non-Commissioned Officer Association, Advisory Council to the Albany Veterans Administration Medical Center and the Canaan Fire Company. In addition, Mr. Flaherty walked 100 miles (57 on crutches) to raise funds to build a monument to Clinton County military personnel killed in Vietnam. He was a veterans advisor for Senator Gillibrand and Congressman Gibson, and for the past 20 Memorial Days, he and his wife have placed American flags on graves of veterans.

In recognition of his outstanding military service, Mr. Flaherty received a Direct Commission, and upon retiring, held dual status as both a Command Sergeant Major and Captain. His awards/citations include: the Legion of Merit; Soldiers Medal for Heroism; Bronze Star; two Meritorious Medals; six Army Commendation Medals; two Army Achievement Medals; six Good Conduct Medals; Humanitarian Medal; National Defense Medal; three Overseas Medals; two Vietnam Service Medals; Vietnam Cross of Gallantry; Vietnam Civic Action Medal; Korean Defense Medal; Gold Recruiter Badge and New York Conspicuous Medal with five devices.

Mr. Flaherty is currently the Columbia County Director of the VetTrac Program, which assists returning OEF/OIF veterans. He has been married to his wife, Tammy, for 26 years and has five children and seven grandchildren.