Western Michigan University

Master Sergeant Clayton instructs a cadet on rappelling techniques

LTC Decker B. Hains

Professor of Military Science

Lieutenant Colonel Decker B. Hains assumed duties as the Professor of Military Science at Western Michigan University on June 15, 2012. LTC Hains was commissioned in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers upon graduation from the U.S. Military Academy in 1994.

LTC Hains' previous assignments include: Platoon Leader and Executive Officer, 23rd Engineer Company, Fort Richardson, Alaska; Battalion S4, Special Troops Battalion, Fort Richardson, Alaska; Assistant Brigade S3, Engineer Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Howze, Korea; Commander, C Company, 2nd Engineer Battalion, Camp Casey, Korea; Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York; Chief, Military Transition Team, Baghdad, Iraq, Deputy District Commander for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District from October 2009 to August 2011, and Design Engineer for the 555th EN BDE on Joint Base Lewis-McChord from August 2011 to May 2012.

LTC Hains earned a bachelor of science degree with a civil engineering major in 1994 from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; a master of science degree in arctic engineering from the University of Alaska-Anchorage in 1998; a master of science degree in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla in 1999; and a doctor of philosophy in civil engineering from Lehigh University in 2004. LTC Hains is a graduate of the Engineer Officer Basic Course, Engineer Officer Advanced Course, and the Command and General Staff College. LTC Hains is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Missouri and a certified Project Management Professional.

His military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal; the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters; the Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters; the Army Achievement Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters; the National Defense Service Medal; the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; the Iraq Campaign Medal; the Korean Defense Service Medal; the Overseas Service Ribbon with numeral 3; the Parachutist Badge; and the Air Assault Badge. LTC Hains was also awarded the Bronze deFleury Medal by the US Army Engineer Association. LTC Hains' civilian awards include the Best Paper Award for Professional Interest Council I at the 2007 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) National Conference and the 2007 Excellence in Civil Engineering Education (ExCEEd) New Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Committee on Faculty Development. LTC Hains also served on the ASCE Body of Knowledge II (BOK II) Committee that published in February 2008 the second edition of Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge for the 21st Century: Preparing the Civil Engineer for the Future.

A native of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and Boca Raton, Florida, LTC Hains lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He is married and has three daughters. He is also an avid basketball and soccer official.

LTC Hains may be reached at (269) 387-8120 or (800) WMU-ROTC or by E-mailEmail

Brett E. Johnson

Scholarship and Enrollment Officer

Brett E. Johnson was commissioned a Transportation Corps Second Lieutenant in the Regular Army from Michigan Technological University on 22 May 1982.

He is a graduate of the Transportation Officer Basic Course, Aviation Maintenance Officer Course, Aviation Officer Advanced Course, Combined Arms Services and Staff School and the Command and General Staff College. He has served as Maintenance Platoon Leader, A Company, 158th Aviation Battalion (Assault Helicopter), 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault); Platoon Leader, Executive Officer and Production Control Officer for F Company, 160th Special Operations Aviation Group (Airborne); Production Control Officer, E Company, 228th Aviation (AVIM); Commander, A Company (Assault Helicopter), 1st Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment; Brigade S4, 10th Aviation Brigade and Battalion S-3, 3rd Battalion (Assault Helicopter), 25th Aviation Regiment, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry); Commander, C Company, 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne); Aviation Officer and Chief of Exercise Division, Special Operations Command South (Airborne); Commander, 4th Battalion (AVIM), 159th Aviation Regiment and Brigade S-3, 244th Aviation Brigade (USAR). He retired from active duty in May 2003 as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Johnson is a Senior Army Aviator and is Ranger, Airborne and Air Assault qualified, His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, The Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, The Air Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Army Achievement Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (third award), the National Defense Service Medal (second award), the Humanitarian Service Medal and the United Nations Medal. He also wears the Joint Meritorious Unit Award with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Meritorious Unit Citation and the Army Superior Unit Award with Oak Leaf Cluster. His Regimental Affiliation is with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.

Brett is a native of Southwest Michigan and he and his wife are enjoying restoring their 100+ year old home on the St. Joseph River. He also enjoys hunting, fishing, canoeing and woodworking. He is an active participant and leader in several wildlife and environmental conservation organizations.

MAJ Jeffary Hoose

Assistant Professor of Military Science and Training Officer

Major Jeff Hoose was born in Big Rapids, MI and is a 1996 graduate of Indiana State University. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. He is a former Special Forces enlisted soldier and was commissioned through Officer Candidate School at FT Benning, GA. MAJ Hoose hails from Northville, Michigan.

His previous assignments include: Joint Visitor Bureau OIC, 46th Military Police Command, Michigan National Guard (Afghanistan Deployment), Commander of 1433rd Engineer Company (Sapper), Michigan Army National Guard, Civil Affairs Team Leader, 415th CA BN (Kosovo and Iraq Deployments), Army Forces Executive Officer, SOTO CANO Air Base, Honduras, Combat Engineer Executive Officer, HSC/52 ECB(H), Equipment Platoon Leader, Special Forces Senior Engineer Sergeant, ODA 2081/B/3/20th SFG(A) (Iraq Deployment), Special Forces Junior Engineer Sergeant, ODA 1232/C/1/12th SFG(A). MAJ Hoose has deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo in numerous capacities. His military education includes Command and General Staff College, Civil Affairs Officer Advance Course, Engineer Officer Basic Course, Special Forces Engineer Sergeant Course, Russian Language School, Airborne School, and Air Assault School. Awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (w/V and 3 OLC), Meritorious Service Medal, Purple Heart, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (4 OLC), Army Achievement Medal (3 OLC), Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Valorous Unit Award, Army Superior Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal (w/ gold star), Iraq Campaign Medal ( w/ 4 campaign stars), Afghanistan Campaign Medal (w/ 1 campaign star), Kosovo Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon (w/numeral 2), Army Service Ribbon, Coast Guard Special Operations Service Ribbon, NATO Medal (w/ numeral 2), Special Forces Tab, Combat Infantry Badge, Combat Action Badge, Expert Infantry Badge, Basic Parachute Badge, Air Assault Badge, Egyptian Parachute Badge, and German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency.

CPT Anthony Strong

Assistant Professor of Military Science

Captain Anthony Strong is a native of Greenville, Mississippi.  Captain Strong enlisted in the Mississippi Army National Guard in April 2000 as a Field Artillery Systems Mechanic.  After reaching the rank of E-4, he enrolled into the Reserve Officer Training Corp at Mississippi Valley State University in 2001.  Captain Strong was commissioned into the Quartermaster Corps on 17 December 2005.  CPT Strong received his Bachelors in Business Administration from Mississippi Valley State University in December of 2005 and a Masters of Business Administration from Columbia Southern University in 2010.

His military education includes the Field Artillery Systems Basic Course, the Quartermaster Officer Basic Course, and the Logistics Officer Captains Career Course.

His previous assignments include Water Distribution Platoon Leader, 1387th Quartermaster, Battle Captain, 13th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion (CSSB), Executive Officer, 1387th Quartermaster, Bravo Team Officer In Charge, 2-305th Field Artillery Regiment (Observer Controller Trainer), Support Operations Materials Management Officer, 298th CSSB, J-4 Liaison Officer, United Forces Afghanistan, Battalion S4, 2-346 Regiment Training Support.  He is now serving as an Assistant Professor of Military Science and Administrative Officer at Western Michigan University.

Awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Afghan Campaign medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Medal,  Armed Forces Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with "M" Device, Army Service Ribbon, and Army Overseas Service Ribbon.

CPT Strong is married with no children.

Major Kenneth Gaylor

Assistant Professor of Military Science and Executive Officer

Major KENNETH R. GAYLOR Air Defense Officer and a 1999 Graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Geographical Politics and Environmental Engineering and was commissioned in 1999. He is a former member of the Army Sprint football team. He recently received his Masters in Business Administration from Embry Riddle University. He is originally from Rudyard, Michigan.

His previous assignments include: Platoon Leader, Air Defense Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry, Regimental Plans Officer, 11th Armored Cavalry, Air Defense Fire Coordination Officer, III Corps Air Defense Element, Operations Officer Counter Terrorism-Special Operations Cell, Multi-National Security Transition Command Iraq, Company Commander, Battle Creek Recruiting Company, 3rd Recruiting Brigade. He is now serving as an Assistant Professor of Military Science at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

His military education includes Army Air Assault Course, Air Defense Officer Basic Course, Air Defense Officer Basic Shorad Course, Air Defense Officer Advance Course, CAS3, Mechanized Leaders Course and Recruiting Company Commanders Course. Awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Services Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal with Service Star, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Army Service Ribbon.

MAJ Gaylor is married with two children, a five year old son and a three year old daughter.

Aaron Combs

Senior Military Science Instructor and Grand Rapids Enrollment Officer

AARON A. COMBS is a contract employee with L3-MPRI. He is a United States Army Reserve Military Police Officer and a 1998 graduate of Grand Valley State University. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and was commissioned through Western Michigan University ROTC in 1998. He is a former enlisted MP and served with the 303rd Military Police Company. He is originally from Jackson, Michigan.

His previous assignment include: Platoon Leader, 303rd Military Police Company (CS), Camp Commander Joint Detention Operations Groups- JTF GTMO (Guantanamo Bay, Cuba) for Global War on Terrorism, Company Commander 334th Medical Group. His military education includes United States Army Military Police School, ROTC, Military Police Officer Basic Course, Mobilization Officer Course, OPSEC school, Pre-Command Course, Company Trainers Course, Military Police Captain's Career Course Phases 1-3, School of Cadet Command, Faculty Directors Course, Recruiting Operations Officer Course.

 

Combs' awards and decorations include, the Joint Meritorious Unit Citation, Army Commendation Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M Device and Bronze Hour Glass Device, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon and the Army Overseas Ribbon, Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon.

Stephen Prince

Senior Military Science Instructor

Steven D. Prince is a contract employee with L3-MPRI. He is a United States Army Reserve Logistics Officer who has a Bachelors degree from Michigan State University and a Masters degree from Western Michigan Univesity.

Prince enlisted in the Army in 1990 after high school and was commisssioned through MSU ROTC in 1997. He is originally from Jenison, Michigan.

His previous assignments include: Stinger Gunner, 11th BDE Fort Bliss, Texas, Platoon Leader, ADA Battery 3d ACR, Fort Carson, CO, Executive Officer HHC, 46th IN BDE, HHC Commander 46th IN BDE, Movement Control Officer, 46th MP Command, and Commander 1460th Transportation Co.

His deployments include Operation Desert Storm as a private and Operation Iraqi Freedom as a Captain.

His military education includes Basic Training, Fort Sill, OK, Stinger AIT, Fort Bliss, TX, ADA Officer Basic Course, Combined Arms Excercise, and Transportation Officer Advanced Course, Fort Eustis, VA.

Master Sergeant Billy Clayton

Senior Military Instructor

Master Sergeant Clayton enlisted in the United States Army on 03 August 1993 from Wichita, Kansas. During his 16 years of service MSG Clayton has held numerous leadership positions which include: Battalion RETRANNS Team Chief, Battalion Communications Chief, Field Artillery Training Center Communication Chief, Platoon Sergeant, Brigade Communications Chief, Division Signal Support Chief, and First Sergeant.

His previous assignments include: 501st Maintenance BN Fort Riley, Kansas, 2/9 Infantry Regiment Camp Casey, Korea, 5/101st Aviation BN Fort Campbell, Kentucky, 1-78 FA BN, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, 6-27 FA BN (MLRS) Fort Sill, Oklahoma with whom he deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom 03, 501st Sustainment BN (G6) Fort Campbell, Kentucky with whom he deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom 05-06, 3rd BDE Combat Team (Rakkasans)101st ABN DIV Fort Campbell, Kentucky with whom he deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom 07-09.

His military education includes Advanced Non-Commissioned Officer Course, Basic Non-Commissioned Officer Course, Warrior Leaders Course, Master Fitness Course, Alcohol Drug Abuse Team, Air Assault School, Combat Lifesavers Course.

Awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (1 BS), Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (2 OLC), Army Achievement Medal (3 OLC), Good Conduct Medal (5 Knots), National Defense Service Medal (1 BS), Combat Action Badge and the Drivers Badge (Wheeled).

Sergeant First Class Benjamin Carter

Training NCO

Sergeant First Class Carter enlisted in the United States Army on 02 January 1997 from Stillwater, Oklahoma. During his 14 years of service SFC Carter has held numerous leadership positions which include: Tank Gunner, Section Sergeant, Tank Commander, Platoon Sergeant, Military Transition Team Advisor/Trainer, and Brigade Master Gunner.

His previous assignments include: 1st BN 34th Armor Ft. Riley Kansas, 1st BN 37th Armor Friedberg Germany with whom he deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom 1, 1st BN 13th Armor Ft. Riley Kansas with whom he deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom 3, 1st BN 34th Armor Ft. Riley Kansas, HHC 1st BDE 2nd ID Camp Hovey, Korea, 1st BN 68th Armor Ft. Carson Colorado with whom he deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom 2010 / Operation New Dawn.

His military education includes Senior Leaders Course, Advanced Leaders Course, Warrior Leaders Course, M1A1 Master Gunner Course, Combat Lifesavers Course, Tank Crew Evaluators Course, Instructor Course, Observer Controller Academy, Equal Opportunity Management Course.

Awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (1 OLC), Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal (4 OLC), Army Achievement Medal (4 OLC), Good Conduct Medal (4 Knots), National Defense Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal (3 CS), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon (Number 3), Army Service Ribbon, Army Overseas Service Ribbon (Number 4), Presidential Unit Citation, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Combat Action Badge and the Drivers and Mechanics Badge (Tracked).

Mr. Bill Parks

Supply Specialist

Mr. Rick Rigsby

Human Resources Administrator

Mr. Richard N. Rigsby is a native of Murfressboro, Tennessee. He enlisted in the United States Army on September 9, 1974 and Retired with honorable service on October 1, 1998 with over 20 years in Army Aviation. Mr. Rigsby is married to a former Army service member Sandra L. Rigsby and they have two children Sarah 11, and Samuel 6.

Mr. Rigsby has held every duty position in Army Aviation from Crew Chief, Team Leader, Section Chief, Squad Leader, Platoon Sergeant, Fist Sergeant and Sergeant Major. He's Assignments includes Federal Republic of Germany, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Milwaukee Recruiting Battalion, Wisconsin, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, South West Asia, Republic of South Korea, Fort Rucker Alabama.

His Awards and decorations include the Legion Of Merit, Meritorious Service medal, Army Commendation Medal with one Bronze Oak Leaf and one Silver Oak Leaf, Army Achievement Medal with One Oak Leaf, Good Conduct Medal with Two Silver Knots, National Defense Service Medal with one Bronze Star, South West Asia Medal with three Bronze Stars, Korea Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Professional Development Medal with Numeral 3, Army Service Medal, Overseas Medal with Numeral 3, Saudi Kuwait Liberation Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal, Army Superior Unit Award, Aircraft Crew Member Badge, Air Assault Badge and US Army Gold Recruiting Badge with One Sapphire Achievement Star also a recipient of the Association of the United States Army Aviation Bronze Medal The Order of Saint Michaels.

His military education includes Basic Combat Training, Advance Individual Training, Basic Leadership Course, Advance Non-Commission Officer Course, Sergeant Majors Academy Battle Staff and First Sergeants Course. Aviation Life Support School, Joint Firepower Air Ground Operations School, Basic Recruiting Course, Station Commanders Course, Nurse Recruiting Course, Recruiting and Retention Course, and the School Of Cadet Command, Human Resource Administration Course.

Mr. Brian Jones

Human Resources Administrator

Mr. Jones retired as a Master Sergeant from the US Army Reserves with 24 years total service, 16 years active 31 January 2009. Mr. Jones was born and raised in North Carolina. He joined the Army 18 December 1984 in the Delayed Entry Program and started Basic Training at Fort Dix, NJ 25 January 1985. He attended AIT at Fort Gordon, GA for training as a Multi-channel Communications Equipment Operator. He reclassified in 1989 at Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN, receiving training as a Personnel Information System Management Specialist.

Mr. Jones was stationed in Mannheim, Germany (1985-1987), Fort Lewis, WA (1987-1989), Bamberg, Germany (1989-1992) with a brief stint in Saudi Arabia (1990-1991), Fort Eustis, VA (1992-1996), Mt. Pleasant, MI (1996-1997), and Fort Knox, KY (1997-2001). After leaving active duty through October 2007, Mr. Jones served as an instructor with the 84th Division at Fort Custer and a regional instructor for the state of Michigan with the 100th Division.

From 2007 until his retirement, he worked in the S-3 and as First Sergeant in the Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade, 104th Division.

Mrs. Cris Obreiter

Office Associate

Cris' hometown is Ft Worth Texas but she moved to Kalamazoo, MI with her family after a short, 9-year detour to Altus Oklahoma. Cris joined the Air Force after high school graduation in the hopes of seeing the world. For her first assignment she was stationed in Altus AFB, Oklahoma where she spent her entire 9-year military career, attaining the rank of Sergeant. During that time she worked as an aircraft mechanic on the KC-135, an administrative specialist in the Safety Office, staff reporter for the base paper, Chief of Community Relations for the base and finished in the Quality Improvement Office. She also served as a Security Police augmentee where she patrolled the base, provided entry control support, issued tickets and made arrests. She was trained in riot control and use of various weapons. All this training qualifies her to handle students in a kind yet efficient manner. While in the military she received the National Defense Service Medal, the Air Force Achievement Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

Cris has more hobbies than she can mention. She is willing to try anything once...except jumping out of a perfectly good aircraft. She enjoys sewing, cooking, gardening, reading, the theater, museums and attending cultural events. She also enjoys a good hockey game, stock car race or any other sport/activity where a spontaneous fight or crash might occur. She is still waiting to see anything exciting happen during a round of golf. Cris started working at Western Michigan University in 1994 in the College of Health and Human Services in the Rural Health Education Program and moved to ROTC in 2000.  She was awarded the “Make a Difference Award” by WMU two consecutive years in 2004 and 2005.