U.S. Special Operations Command unveiled the official portrait of Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel during a ceremony held at its headquarters on MacDill Air Force Base, in Tampa, Florida, Aug. 15.
Votel, who currently serves as the commander of U.S. Central Command, served as the USSOCOM commander from August 2014 to March 2016 and was the tenth commander to be responsible for ensuring the readiness of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps special operations forces and synchronizing special operations planning.
The unveiling was hosted by the current and eleventh USSOCOM commander Army Gen. Raymond A. Thomas III and was attended by numerous senior leaders from across the USSOCOM enterprise as well as family and friends. During the event, Thomas commended Votel for his contributions to USSOCOM and for his handling of challenging issues during his time in command.
"It's important to take time to commemorate 20 months of extraordinary service here at the command by General Votel," Thomas said. "So it's my personal honor and privilege to recognize you today as the tenth commander of SOCOM, memorialized here forever with your portrait… we are very proud of everything you accomplished during your historic stint here."
The portrait was commissioned by private donors to portrait and conceptual figurative painter Jonathan Linton. Linton's works have been featured in New York Magazine, Business Week and American Art Collector as well as national and international collections. The painting will find a permanent home in the halls of the USSOCOM headquarters where it will accompany the nine other portraits of former USSOCOM commanders.
"There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about the people, that I don't think about the events, I don't think about the activities that I had the opportunity to experience and the opportunities that were presented to me in this organization," Votel said. "I am very, very humbled to be included among the group of former commanders who have the opportunity to have their portrait displayed here in this illustrious headquarters with this great history."