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Newly Appointed LTC Mark Christiansen Makes Impact on Program

Western Illinois University has named Lieutenant Colonel Mark Christiansen as the new leader of the Leatherneck Battalion, effective June 2023.


Prior to WIU, LTC Christiansen served as an assistant professor at the US Army Command and General Staff College, where he shared his expertise in strategic concepts with military professionals. His military background includes various leadership roles and deployments, showcasing a commitment to serving his nation.


LTC Christiansen served as a major stationed in South Korea from 2016-2020 and was marked by his service as the Battalion executive officer for the Sixth Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment at Camp Casey, Korea. Additionally, he served as the chief of fires in the Eighth Army Digital Liaison Detachment at Camp Yongin, Korea. LTC Christiansen's major assignment at the University of New Haven, CT as the assistant professor of Military Science further contributed to his experience.


As a captain, LTC Christiansen commanded Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, Fourth Battalion, 42nd Field Artillery at Fort Carson, CO, deploying in support of Operation Spartan Shield to Kuwait in 2013. Earlier in his career, he served as the squadron fire support officer for Seventh Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, deploying to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in July 2010.


LTC Christiansen's military journey includes multiple deployments and varied roles while stationed at Fort Campbell, KY. Deployments included serving as a cannon platoon leader in Afghanistan and as a Company Fire Support Officer in Iraq during the Battle of Ramadi. A graduate of the Command and General Staff College, the Field Artillery Captains’ Career Course and the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course, LTC Christiansen holds a Master of Science degree in National Security Studies from the University of New Haven and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Louisiana State University.


His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (2 OLC), Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal (5 OLC), Army Commendation Medal and the Army Achievement Medal (1 OLC). LTC Christiansen is authorized to wear the Combat Action Badge, Parachutist and Air Assault badges.


It is the mission of WIU’s ROTC to to prepare college students for leadership roles in the Army, Army Reserve or National Guard upon graduation. Through ROTC, students undergo a structured training curriculum to develop the skills and qualities necessary to serve as commissioned officers in the United States Army. The program focuses on leadership, military tactics and the values essential for success in both military and civilian life. Upon completing the ROTC program and earning a degree, participants are ready to assume leadership positions in various capacities within the U.S. Army.


For more information on WIU’s ROTC program, visit wiu.edu/ROTC.

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