2015 Lifetime Award, Master Sgt. Sean Clifton

The recipient of the 2015 Arnold Sports Festival Lifetime Achievement Award will be Master Sgt. Sean Clifton. Master Sgt. Clifton is a U.S. Army Special Forces Green Beret with over 20 years in the military, 14 of those being in US Army Special Forces. Master Sgt. Clifton is currently a Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Wounded Warrior Athlete, as well as a Special Forces Intelligence & Operations Sergeant with a SOCOM Detachment in the Army National Guard.

Master Sgt. Clifton has multiple tours of combat to Iraq and Afghanistan where his primary responsibility was that of Intelligence and Targeting on an ODA (Special Forces A-Team).

During his last deployment to Afghanistan, on May 31st, 2009 (Memorial Day), Master Sgt. Clifton was critically wounded while conducting a raid on a Taliban compound. Upon clearing a doorway of a Taliban leader’s compound, he was shot multiple times by Taliban fighters. Two of the rounds were critical; one hit his left arm, shattering the wrist and rendering his left arm useless. Another round hit just under his body armor, entering his left waistline, critically wounding five major organs to include the sciatic nerve and major vascular damage. The medics kept him alive on the battlefield and he then spent over six months at Walter Reed Army Medical Center undergoing over 30 surgical procedures, which continue to this day.

Throughout his lifetime, Master Sgt. Clifton has participated in competitive athletics. His high standard of personal fitness contributed to his successful completion of the arduous Special Forces Qualification Course, as well as his ability to survive life threatening enemy gunshot wounds on the battlefield. During his recovery from combat wounds, Master Sgt. Clifton utilized functional fitness and athletic recovery to literally learn to walk again, as well as push though several years of surgery and rehabilitation. Master Sgt. Clifton is currently a Wounded Warrior Athlete who is a passionate supporter of Combat Wounded Veterans; organizing multiple community events in an effort to support healing veterans through athletic recovery.

Master Sgt. Clifton’s past and future accomplishments to include surviving on the battlefield can be attributed to the lessons learned from being a member of a team, commitment to excellence, fitness, and overcoming insurmountable odds whether on the playing field or theatre of war to obtain ultimate victory. He along with others like him truly have a heart of a champion.

Master Sgt. Clifton’s awards include: The Bronze Star (Valor), Purple Heart Medal, Army Commendation Medal (Valor), Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, NATO Service Medal, GWOT Service Medal, et al.

Master Sgt. Clifton earned a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice and Intelligence Studies from Tiffin University. He currently works as an analyst for the Department of Justice.

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