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Colonel Chev. Craig L. Carlson, USA, GCTJ, GMTJ


DSCN2499.jpgCraig is a retired Army colonel with 27 years of service to the nation. He held every leadership position from Platoon Leader to Battalion Commander, graduated from the National War College, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C. in 2001 and finished his career serving as the Personnel Director for the US Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), Ft. Belvoir, Virginia. He currently works as the Director of Human Resources for a fortune 200 company.


Born in Austin, Texas in 1955 his earliest memories are of his father in starched khaki uniforms and World War II awards. Donald W. Carlson, his father, was Commandant and Dean of Boys at San Marcos Baptist Academy where he mentored and prepared young men and women for life. This experience shaped the author’s life and values. There was never any doubt that Craig would pursue an Army career that would reflect the father he respected and loved. He continues to strive to make a difference in his new role as retired military officer and civilian Director of Human Resources.


His mother, Martha Carlson, has become Craig’s hero. She rose to the challenge of providing for two of her three children after Donald became too debilitated from Parkinson's Disease to continue working. Martha, by the grace of God and great faith, was able to send her children to college and care for her husband until his death in 1987. She continues to be a blessing and inspiration.


The author is married to the former Monika (Mo) Conrady of Bitburg, Germany. According to Craig, Mo is the best decision he ever made. This book is dedicated to Mo, Craig’s Helena. He has two children (John and Kara) from a previous marriage.  His son John was the inspiration for the young Squire depicted in this book and has recently made the Colonel a grandfather.


Craig has a B.S. Degree in Sociology from Texas A&M University, a Masters of Military Art and Science Degree from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and a Masters of National Security Strategy from the National Defense University. He has been published in Military Review, a military professional journal, and is an honorary member of the staff and faculty of the Army Command and General Staff College. He is an Honorary Kentucky Colonel and a Grand Croix in the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem. His military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal; the Defense Superior Service Medal; the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Meritorious Service Medal (5 awards), the Army Commendation Medal (two awards); the Army Staff Badge and the Army Parachutist Badge.


Since the printing of SILENT KNIGHT, Craig has received a Knighthood from Pope John Paul II (Knight Saint Gregory); promotion to Grand Croix within the Knights Templar; induction into the Order of Merit as Grand Commander within the Knights Templar; and received two knighthoods from Ethiopia. All of these accolades are due to the charity inspired by SILENT KNIGHT and the kindnesses of those touched by the SILENT KNIGHT story.


Craig has been the after dinner speaker at several events in the Washington D.C. area, given SILENT KNIGHT presentations in England and Belgium, and recently was the after dinner speaker for a Templar gala event at Vanderbilt University. If you wish to book an inspirational speaking engagement, please contact SilentKnightOne@aol.com.  


The idea for the SILENT KNIGHT charity and book was inspired by several personal experiences. First was the honor of commanding an Army Advanced Individual Training Battalion where I was able to work with over 3000 of America's sons and daughters. Many needed mentorship and encouragement to achieve their potential. Some just needed to know they were believed in. Second, I had the pleasure to serve as the Vice President of OPERATION SANTA CLAUS at Fort Bliss, Texas from July 1997 through July 1999. The wonderful citizens of El Paso and military members from Fort Bliss provided over 127,000 toys to needy area children. It was an amazing education in the goodness of people. Finally, becoming a part of the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (SMOTJ) and seeking a meaningful way to contribute led me to synthesize these three experiences. The synthesis has changed my life and I pray it will be the motivation for a change in yours.


The idea for the SILENT KNIGHT charity was born and continues to grow. For over five years prior to writing this book, I had been motivated to write… about something. After two false starts, on subjects that did not particularly inspire me, SILENT KNIGHT ignited a fire and the book is a reality!


The book is very personal. Many of the characters are compositions of people or experiences that affected my life. Names are changed so nobody can be individually identified. My father and mother represented the values expressed throughout the book.


Some have said they recognize my wife and I as characters… I agree, we are characters in real life… but we do not rise to the challenge offered by the characters in this book. It is our goal.


Our International Grand Commander, RADM (Ret.) James Carey, has been an invaluable source of encouragement throughout this effort. I wish to thank him for providing this opportunity on the international web page to inspire every SMOTJ Knight and Dame to make a difference in your nation and community. Random acts of charity provided in a way consistent with your specific legal and cultural rules can change your life and help promote a continuing legendary history for the Knights Templar. Everyone in our Order can become a SILENT KNIGHT… regardless of financial ability or age, you can participate in a meaningful way. Whether you send a note to a person that needs encouragement, pay for a meal, send groceries to a needy person, or pay for an education, know that you have performed an act consistent with our motto, "Not unto us, Oh Lord, not unto us, but to Thy name give glory."


SILENT KNIGHT has the potential to harness the personal power within each of us. With your effort and prayers, we can make a difference for many. Together, we can do much good.


DSCN4927xa1.jpgI wish to thank the SMOTJ for the inspiration to write. There are a few people that have read, proofed and critiqued this work from the beginning. Without their support, it could not have been completed.

  • My sister, Carol Thompson
  • My brother, Chriss Carlson
  • My mother, Martha Carlson
  • My Editor and his wife, Chev. Marshall and Chevse. Pamela Bachman
  • Chev. Michael Murphy
  • Chev. Dale and Chevse. Susan Leppard

Finally, I dedicate this effort to my best inspiration, Chevse. Monika (Mo) Conrady Carlson… my Helena.


“Not unto us Oh Lord, not unto us, but to Thy Name give glory.”


Chev. Craig L. Carlson, GCTJ, GMTJ, KSG

Colonel(Retired), USA