Michael R Czaja graduated from Paonia High School in Colorado and enrolled at St. Bonaventure University, graduating in 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science. A four-year Army ROTC Scholarship winner, he was commissioned as a Military Police officer, and after completing the basic course, served as a platoon leader and assistant operations officer at Fort Riley, Kansas.
He was promoted to captain in December 1985 and after completing the MP advanced course, reported to Germany, where he served as a staff officer in the 14th Military Police Brigade, as commander of the 554th Military Police Company and plans officer for the VII Corps Provost Marshal. In 1989, Czaja completed the Civil Affairs and Regional Studies Courses at the U.S. Army J.F.K. Special Warfare Center and School. He was assigned as a team leader, operations officer and later commander of Company A, 96th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne). Between December 1989 and December 1994, he was deployed extensively throughout Latin America, where he was responsible for diverse civil military operations and received additional intensive language training in Guatemala.
In December 1995, he became chief of plans and force management for the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, then returned to the special operations community as a civil affairs staff officer and branch chief at USSOCOM, MacDill Air Force Base. Promoted to lieutenant colonel, he coordinated a program to support the U.S. government’s humanitarian mine action initiative and served as the primary civil affairs planner for Operation Joint Guardian in Kosovo. As branch chief, he supervised a section that improved civil military operations support to more than 19 contingency, disaster relief and peacekeeping operations and was a guest lecturer on civil military operations at the Canadian Forces College Command and Staff Course.
Czaja served as the cadet battalion commander/professor of military science at the University of Houston, before he was assigned to USCENTCOM at MacDill Air Force Base. He became current operations officer for information operations and the information operations branch chief and played a key role in the coordination of information operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom. As the lead planner for security and stability operations, he helped to reestablish the Iraqi media infrastructure. He also led the theater-level planning of USCENTCOM’s psychological operations, electronic warfare, computer network operations, operations security and military deception. Retiring from active duty in 2004, he worked in several key assignments at the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, developing curriculum and teaching graduate-level courses on government interagency cooperation, information operations, foreign internal defense and counterinsurgency operations and other subjects. In August 2008, he entered a Ph.D. program at Colorado State University.
Czaja is a graduate of numerous military schools, including Command and General Staff College and Joint and Combined Staff Officer School, and earned a Master of Science in International Relations from Troy University. His military awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (4 awards), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (3 awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal (3 awards), Armed Forces Expeditionary medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal (2 awards), Parachutist Badge, Honduran Parachutist Badge and numerous other individual and unit awards.
A graduate of Gallia Academy High School in Gallipolis, Ohio, Robert F. Danner earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from Wheaton College in Illinois. A graduate of the Army ROTC program, he was commissioned in 1960 as an infantry second lieutenant, completed the basic course and served as a platoon leader at Fort Benning, Georgia. As part of the response to the Berlin/Cuban crises, he was assigned to Fort Gordon, Georgia, and served as administrative assistant to the commander, regimental adjutant and commander of Company A, 1st Battalion, First Training Regiment. In 1964, he was promoted to captain and appointed as a Regular Army Adjutant General Corps officer.
From May 1964 to July 1967, he served in several personnel management and administrative assignments in the headquarters of Allied Forces Southern Europe in Naples, Italy. He commanded a 150-soldier headquarters company with members on five bases in three countries. Danner returned to the United States to complete the Adjutant General Officer Advanced Course. Promoted to major, he deployed to Vietnam, where he served in Long Binh for one year as a personnel staff officer in Headquarters, G1, U.S. Army Vietnam. He was the primary personnel staff officer for an advisory program aimed at strengthening the Vietnamese Regional and Popular Forces.
He was assigned to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point as the deputy adjutant general, and then completed the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in 1971. Danner was assigned to the Department of the Army Staff in June 1971 and for the next two and a half years served as personnel actions and education officer, AG Officer Assignment Division, MILPERCEN. Selected for enrollment in a full-time advanced degree program, he graduated from the George Washington University School of Education in May 1974 with a Master of Arts in College Student Personnel Administration before being assigned for a second time to West Point. Danner was associate director of admission and chief of the admission division at the U.S. Military Academy from June 1974 until July 1979. During that time, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel, and oversaw the admission programs that allowed for the admission of women to West Point in 1976. Upon completion of the assignment, was ordered to Fort Knox Kentucky. There, he served his final Army assignment as adjutant general of the U.S. Army Armor Center. Although selected for promotion to colonel, he retired on 31 July 1981.
Danner immediately was appointed vice president for student life at Houghton College in Upstate New York. He was responsible for several areas that contributed greatly to students’ safety, health and development and maintained his ties to the Army. He was the Army ROTC advisor and member of the 29th Congressional District’s Military Service Academy Selection Committee for 20 years as vice president and six years of subsequent service at Houghton College in several key positions. He continues to serve the college as coordinator of faculty recruiting. Highly active in his community, Danner’s professional, community and church involvement honors are numerous, and include the Boender Award from the Association of Christians in Student Development, three terms as a member, including one as chair, of the Houghton Wesleyan Church Board of Elders and several positions with the Town of Caneadea. He and his wife Roselyn (Ballard) also were recognized in 1979 with the West Point Community Service Award. A graduate of the Army War College, his military awards include the Bronze Star medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (3 awards), National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Commendation Medal, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry With Palm, two Overseas Service Bars and the Expert Infantryman and Parachutist Badges.
Richard C. Trietley, Jr. graduated from Olean High School and enrolled as an Army ROTC student at St. Bonaventure University in 1982. A four-year scholarship recipient and Distinguished Military Graduate, he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education in 1986. He was commissioned as an Infantry second lieutenant and after completing the officer basic course and Ranger School, served as a rifle platoon and TOW platoon leader in the 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He deployed with his platoon to Honduras during Operation Golden Pheasant in 1988 and later was selected as aide de camp to the commanding general of First Region Army ROTC.
After completing the Infantry Officer Advanced Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, he was assigned to the 6th Infantry Division in Fort Wainright, Alaska and served first as a battalion adjutant and later as a rifle company commander in the 5th Battalion, 9th Infantry “Manchu.” As a commander, he deployed his company to Camp Pendleton, California for Joint Exercise Tandem Thrust and to Japan. He served as assistant S3 of 2nd Brigade, 6th Infantry Division before being selected as the brigade’s S3/Operations Officer. In that capacity, he was responsible for the planning, coordination and execution of the unit’s deployments to the Joint Readiness Training Center and an exercise in Thailand.
Trietley returned to St. Bonaventure in 1993 to serve as an assistant professor of military science and in 1996 was selected as First Region’s Instructor of the Year. Promoted to major, he was assigned to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and was the senior program manager for a Department of Defense program that trained and educated foreign military officers from 70 nations. After completing Command and General Staff College, he was assigned to Fort Bragg for the second time and served as chief of officer management in the XVIII Airborne Corps’ G1 directorate, where he oversaw personnel operations for 3,500 Army officers. In 2000, he returned to the 82nd Airborne Division as executive officer of an airborne infantry battalion and was selected as the Division’s secretary to the general staff. He returned to the 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division as its executive officer in 2002 and oversaw the regiment’s combat deployment to Afghanistan. Serving in Afghanistan for five months, he was the first soldier to send a message with the Blue Force Tracker system during combat operations.
Choosing to become St. Bonaventure University’s professor of military science from among several important assignments, he returned to his hometown and alma mater in 2003. During a command that lasted five years, he commissioned 62 second lieutenants. His record of service was recognized in 2008 when he was inducted into the Commission of Independent Colleges and Universities Hall of Distinction and the Who’s Who of American College and University Professors.
Trietley is a graduate of numerous military schools and earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from Webster University. He is a member of the Order of Saint Maurice (Centurion), an honor bestowed upon him by the National Infantry Association and the Chief of Infantry of the United States Army. His military decorations and awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (4 awards), Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal (2 awards), Army Achievement Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal with Service Star, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Ranger Tab, Master Parachutist’s Wings, Air Assault Badge and Honduran Parachutist Badge.
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