Archives—April 2017

ROTC Commanders Complete Their Time at Tech

image109785-persThis spring, the commanders of both the Army and Air Force ROTC detachments will complete their tours of duty on the Michigan Tech campus.

Lieutenant Colonel Adam Melnitsky arrived in 2013 to direct the Army training program, while Major Jason Engler took over the Air Force detachment a year later. It is unusual for both commanders to depart at the same time, although regular rotations are part of the plan for all military officers.

It is a bit more out of the ordinary that both will retire from their services after twenty years on active duty. The College of Sciences and Arts is marking their retirement from 3 to 4 p.m. Monday (April 24) in the conference room in the ROTC Building.

Melnitsky entered the Army after completing the ROTC program at Norwich University in New York in 1997, and served in a number of positions with the First Cavalry Division, before serving in a recruiting position in Salt Lake City and in the Boston Military Entrance Processing Station. Subsequently he deployed to Iraq in 2008 and again in 2011 — the latter with one of the last units in Iraq.

Engler joined the Air Force through ROTC at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Phoenix, with a degree in space studies. He began his career as a “missileer” at Vandenberg and later served as a missile officer at an ICBM base in Montana.

Among his later appointments was time at NORAD headquarters in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado. The connection to space remained a part of Engler’s efforts in various Air Force staff assignments before coming to Tech.

Bruce Seely, dean of the College of Sciences and Arts said, “Adam and Jason have been marvelous leaders of the ROTC units under their command, which at times can be a difficult task of serving the Army, Air Force and the University — they have done so with distinction. Both have academic appointments to match their military rank — Adam as Professor of Military Science and Jason as Professor of Aerospace Studies. The length of their appointments was longer than the normal two-year tour, which was a good thing for Tech and for the cadets, as we gained additional stability from the continuity of their leadership. We will miss their steady hands and commitment to training the next generation of military officers.”

Melnitsky and his wife Teresa intend to move to Salt Lake City, while Engler and his spouse Leah (who works as a grants analyst in the Sponsored Programs Office) are heading to Arizona to launch a brew pub.

Both couples say they’re excited at the prospect of having their own homes.

We extend best wishes from everyone at Michigan Tech to them and their families in their future endeavors, as they transition from military to civilian life.