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LTC Don Mercer
Inducted 22 April 2000
Lieutenant Colonel Don Mercer was commissioned from the Western Michigan University Army ROTC program as a Distinguished Military Graduate in 1966. As an Infantry Officer, serving in the Berlin Brigade, his assignments included Rifle Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, Assistant Battalion S3, and Battalion S4. From 1968-1969, he served as the Combat Operations Advisor to the Vietnmnese S3, Phu Bon Province in the Republic of Vietnam.
After attending the Quartermaster Career Course, LTC Mercer served in a variety of company assignments including Commander of a Supply & Services Company in the 4th Mechanized Division, Fort Carson, Colorado. In 1971 he served with a supply depot in northern Thailand sustaining combat operations in the area of Laos.
LTC Mercer completed his Masters Degree in Counseling at WMU in 1972 and spent three years as an Assistant Professor of Military Science in the WMU Army ROTC Department. He attended Foreign Area Officer training in Monterey, California and Garmisch, Germany, completing his Masters Degree in International Relations. From 1979-1981 he served as an intelligence collection officer operating in the area of Berlin, Germany. In 1981, LTC Mercer returned to CONUS for a tour at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in the Combat Developments Command where he had the privilege of serving with the newly appointed Brigadier General Colin Powell.
In 1983, LTC Mercer spent two years in the former Soviet Union conducting overt and covert intelligence collection operations. Then, from 1985-1989 he was stationed in Washington D.C. serving as a Political/Military Desk Officer, U.S. Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations.
LTC Mercer retired from active duty in 1989 and went to work with the CIA as an Operations Officer. He couducted successful operations around the world including Somalia, Germany, and an emerging state of the former Soviet Republic.
In 1994, LTC Mercer became President and CEO of Eagle Village lnc., a non-profit agency near Reed City, Michigan. Eagle Village operates programs for children and families including experiential outdoor education programs for over 6,000 children annually.
LTC Mercer's awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Soldier's Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 2nd oak leaf cluster, Joint Service Commendation Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal with 2nd oak leaf cluster. LTC Mercer's badges include the Army Staff Badge, Combat Infantryman's Badge, Parachutist Badge, the Thai Army Airborne Badge, and, his favorite, the Ranger Tab.