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Air Force ROTC

New Commander Lands to Pilot CWU’s Aerospace Studies Program

United States Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Mark Meier has landed in Ellensburg to lead the CWU Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC), Detachment 895.

In his new post, Meier a fighter pilot and pilot trainer, assumes responsibility for the recruiting, education, training, selection, and commissioning of officer candidates through the award-winning CWU program.

“I love the mountains and being close to the coast—it’s an environment I was looking for,” Meier explained as to some the reasons he sought the assignment. “This also provided me an opportunity to be a commander that I would not have had if I had stayed in the cockpit.”

In addition, he will serve as a professor within and chair of the Department of Aerospace Studies within the College of Education and Professional Studies with university status as a full professor.

“The biggest thing I’m looking forward to is working with new recruits; enthusiastic students who are not yet in the military and motivating them toward a career,” Meier added. “I want to help guide and inform them, and serve as a mentor, to help them make decisions that are both good for them and the United States Air Force as well.”

He will also lead the 40 recruits and returning cadet-wing members into the Air Force ROTC’s new facilities in the remodeled Lind Hall, on the CWU campus.

“This [building] brings the cadets closer to campus, so it’s more convenient to attend our classes and to-and-from their other university classes,” Meier noted. “That’s a big advantage, and will make it much easier for them.”

For both the returning students and those joining the program this year, they are studying at a time of increased need for personnel, in a variety of aviation roles, and to fill a void for Air Force pilots.

“It’s a career that I thoroughly enjoyed,” Meier acknowledged. “Our graduates get great hands on training in their assigned careers and a guaranteed job after graduation. And the Air Force ROTC offers scholarship opportunities for qualifying new and returning students that can help with college expenses.”

Meier was commissioned in 1996 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. For the past six years, he has been the Assistant Director of Operations and a pilot instructor at Laughlin Air Force Base (AFB), in Texas. He has held positions in weapons and tactics, and scheduling for fighter squadrons at Elmendorf AFB, in Alaska; as a training officer and flight commander in reconnaissance at Nevada’s Creech AFB; and fighter pilot, pilot instructor, and evaluator at Langley AFB, Virginia; along with for the North Dakota Air National Guard, in Fargo.

During his time of service, Meier has received numerous honors, including an Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and Air Force Achievement Medal. He attained the rank of lieutenant colonel in 2013.

Since being founded in 1951, the CWU AFROTC “Cascade Cowboys” detachment has established a track record of outstanding success, including receiving the AFROTC Northwest best detachment “Region Right of Line” unit award twice, and earning top Pacific Northwest honors in the AFROTC Standard Bearer Competition, which evaluated knowledge and skills of unit cadets.

It is one of 145 units located on colleges and universities across the country, which develop leaders in preparation to be commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Air Force.

Media contact: Robert Lowery, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, 509-963-1487, Robert.Lowery@cwu.edu

Photo: USAF Lieutenant Colonel Mark Meier

Friday, August 4, 2017

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