New NCIS: LA Part Colonel Jackson Ladd Played By Real Life Wounded Warrior Gregory Gadson

Sam Bramlett - Author

Oct. 16 2022, Published 1:21 p.m. ET

Col. Gadson isn't just an actor, but an advocate for wounded veterans
Source: Getty Images

Colonel Gregory Gadson lost both legs and an arm to an IED

The new season of NCIS: LA introduces a new character; a war hero and old colleague of Hollace Kilbride. Kilbride's past will likely play a heavy role in the upcoming season, as the NCIS prodcuers have indicated a desire to flesh out his relationship with his estranged son. Leading to that, we get a segue into his past via Colonel Jackson Ladd. Col. Ladd is recovering from a war injury that robbed him of his legs. Portraying that difficult struggle for NCIS is someone who actually went through it: U.S. Colonel Gregory Gadson.

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col gadson ncis
Source: CBS

Hollace Kilbride has a history with Col. Ladd

Who Is Colonel Gregory Gadson in 'NCIS: LA'?

Colonel Gregory Gadson is the retired commander of Fort Belvoir in Virginia. Serving over 25 years, Gadson built a reputation as both a humanitarian and an advocate for wounded veterans. His right arm was damaged and his legs up to above the knee were destroyed when an IED exploded near him while he was serving in Iraq in 2007. However, though he basically lost three limbs, he did not excuse himself from active duty. Serving in every major conflict of the last two decades, Gadson's record speaks for itself. He is a war hero.

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Just like the character he is now playing, Colonel Jackson Ladd, Gadson knows very well the trauma and depression that afflicts a person after severe bodily injury. His role as a man struggling to come to grips with the new loss is something he can draw from memory, and likely gives a lot of insight into what a person goes through when the body they take for granted is changed forever. Gadson is an inspiring figure who knows the merits of perseverance and courage and helps others overcome adversity.

A charismatic speaker, expect Colonel Ladd to address things in Kilbride's past, both to develop his character and critique it. Colonel Gadson suffered his injuries over a decade ago, but even in 2007 he gave a preseason speech to the New York Giants on teamwork, duty, and overcoming adversity. The Giants went on to win the 2008 Superbowl, and the players and coaches attribute the success to Gadson's speech. Do you think Ladd will play as a broken man? Saddened by the loss of limbs? That's not how Gadson was.

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col gadson ncis
Source: Getty Images

Col. Gadson has testified multiple times on behalf of Wounded Warriors

Gadson has never let his injuries define him or hold him back. Following his own way of immense discipline and integrity, he doesn't need his legs to help others. He is a good man. The Colonel has testified before congress multiple times to support the Wounded Warrior Project and deal with issues that affect injured veterans. Expect Gadson to be a source of refuge and growth for Kilbride, whose own issues may be put in perspective.

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