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Faculty and Staff


MAJ Donald Kirk

LTC Donald Kirk, Professor Military Science

Lieutenant Colonel Donald Kirk received his commission in 2001 from the University of Pittsburgh.  He was assigned to Aviation branch and graduated as an Honor graduate from Flight School in 2002.  He was first assigned as a Platoon Leader in B/2-1 AVN, 4th BDE, Katterbach, Germany.  LTC Kirk served three years in Germany completing assignments as a Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, Aviation Liaison Officer, and Assistant S3. Some of the other positions he has held are Aviation Liaison Officer for the 2/25 Stryker Brigade, Schofield Barracks, HI; Chief of Operations for the 25th CAB, Wheeler Army Airfield, HI; the Commander of the B/2-25 AVN, Wheeler Army Airfield, HI; Commander of the A/2-25 AVN, Wheeler Army Airfield, HI; Battalion Operations Officer and Executive Officer for 3-501 AVN, 1AD CAB, Ft. Bliss, TX. He has also served as Assistant Professor of Military Science at Norwich University which is a noted military college. LTC Kirk has deployed in support of operations in Kosovo and Iraq. LTC Kirk’s military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Air Medal, the Senior Aviation Badge, and the Parachutist Badge. LTC Kirk is also a graduate of the Infantry Captain’s Career Course, the Air Command and Staff Course, and holds a Master’s of Military Operational Art and Science from Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL. 

Office: (304) 293-7544

MSG Jeff Ladisic, Senior Military Instructor

MSG Ladisic was born and raised in Southwestern PA and is a lifelong Mountaineer fan.  As the senior military instructor, he is responsible for training, operations, discipline and morale of the WVU Mountaineer Battalion.  He has served in the Army as a cavalry scout for 18 years and has deployed to Afghanistan (82nd Airborne Division) and Iraq (1st Infantry Division). MSG Ladisic has served in wide variety of leadership positions a Cavalry Non-Commissioned Officer and has the unique experience of having served in all three Brigade Combat Team (BCT) formations -- Infantry BCT (Airborne), Armor BCT, and Stryker BCT.  MSG Ladisic is a former Drill Sergeant and Army Recruiter, and is Airborne and Pathfinder qualified.  MSG Ladisic's awards include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Meritorious Service Medals.  He graduated from WVU with a Bachelor of Arts in December 2018.

Office: (304) 293-7557

CPT Micheal Opbroek

CPT Michael Opbroek, Assistant Professor Military Science 

CPT Opbroek is a Field Artillery officer with 16 years of service. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Management from South Dakota State University and is currently working on a Masters in Higher Education Administration through University of Louisville. His military education includes Air Assault School, Field Artillery Basic Officer Leader Course, Paladin Commander’s Course, Joint Fires Observer, Joint Firepower Course, Field Artillery Captain’s Career Course, and the Commander’s and First Sergeant’s Course. He deployed in 2011 for Operation Enduring Freedom.

Office: (304) 293-7556


CPT Timothy Fairhurst, Assistant Professor Military Science

 A Utah native, CPT Timothy Fairhurst serves as an Assistant Professor of Military Science and Logistics Specialist for the Mountaineer Battalion. Now assigned to the WV Army National Guard, CPT Fairhurst has 21 years of combined active and Guard service. He initially served in the Infantry, but also holds branch school qualifications for the Quartermaster, Combined Logistics and Adjutant General career fields.  He is Airborne, Jumpmaster, Pathfinder and Rigger qualified and has deployed overseas twice to Iraq (2007-08, 2011). CPT Fairhurst earned a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Charleston.

Office: (304) 293-7558


CPT Mark Herrick, Assistant Professor Military Science

Responsible for operational planning and teaching the MS 1 level courses, CPT Herrick is a native of Marlboro, Vermont. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geospatial Information Science (GIS) and is an Ordnance officer. He deployed to Afghanistan (2010-11) with the 101st Airborne Division (2nd BCT). A graduate of the Captains Career Course, CPT Herrick is a officially serving in the Logistics career branch and has successfully completed two company commands.

Office: (304)-293-3030

CPT Risner

CPT Joshua Risner, Assistant Professor of Military Science

CPT Joshua Risner has served in the military for eight years in multiple positions. He served as a platoon leader in C/3-501 Assault Helicopter Battalion and deployed as a platoon leader with 1-501 Attack Reconnaissance Battalion to Afghanistan. He was also the company commander with C/2-158th Assault Helicopter Battalion. He has earned the Air Medal, Bronze Star and Meritorious Service Medals. Originally from Indiana, he received his Bachelor of Science from Ball State University in Criminal Justice & Criminology

Email:                                                                                                    Office: (304) 293-7588

SFC William Richards

SFC William Richards, Military Science Instructor 

A native of Northern California, SFC William Richards has served in the Army for more than 20 years as an Infantryman. He serves as the primary MS 2 instructor for the Mountaineer Battalion and is also in charge of the WVU Scout Platoon/Ranger Challenge Team. SFC Richards has earned the coveted Combat and Expert Infantryman badges with three deployments to Iraq and another to Afghanistan largely with the 10th Mountain Division. He is working on completing his bachelor’s while serving at West Virginia University.

Office: (304) 293-7548


SSG Joshua Castillo, Military Science Instructor 

SSG Joshua Castillo has over 12 years of military service as a 42A Human Resources Specialist. He ss a native of Puerto Rico. SSG Castillo had deployed three times to Iraq and Afghanistan (twice). SSG Castillo is currently performing duties as a human resources administrator and is also one of the MS1 instructors.

Office: (304) 293-7561

Mr. John Dowling

Mr. John Dowling, Recruiting Operations Officer 

John Dowling brings more than 33 years of military experience as the Recruiting Operations Officer (ROO) where he has served since 2014. Mr. Dowling is responsible for all facets of recruiting, public affairs, enrollment-scholarship processing, and mission set management. A product of the Mountaineer Battalion and a 1989 WVU graduate, retired as a colonel from the Army Reserve in 2018 after serving as an individual mobilization augmentee with the Military Postal Service Agency in Arlington, Va.

Mr. Dowling has commanded units at the company and battalion level and has served as a primary, special and personal staff officer for several general officer commands. He has been mobilized four times for contingency operations including overseas deployments to Bosnia (SFOR 12) and Kuwait. Mr. Dowling earned a Master of Public Management degree from Carnegie Mellon University. His military education includes the Engineer Officer Basic & Advanced Courses, Adjutant General Officer Advanced Course, Brigade S-1 Course, U.S. Army Command & General Staff College, and the University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies (UFMCS) – Critical Thinking Red Team Practitioners Course.

Office: (304) 293-7546
Cell: (304) 894-6641

Mr. Stiemer

Mr. Andrew Steimer, Military Science Instructor

Mr. Steimer is a contractor serving as an senior military science instructor for the battalion. He has more than 12 years of experience as a Logistics Officer in both the Active and Reserve Components, and currently is a major in the Army Reserve. He is a graduate of both Valley Forge Military College and Pennsylvania State University, as well as Logistics Captains' Career Course. He has three deployments to Iraq and Kuwait. 

Mr. Jerry Henley, Military Science Instructor
Mr. Henley is a contractor serving as an military science nstructor for the battalion. He has more than 12 years of service as an infantryman in the 75th Ranger Regiment, the 82nd Airborne Division and the Pennsylvania National Guard where he is currently a staff sergeant. Mr. Henley has deployed four times during his career.

Ms. Oletta Cain, Human Resources Assistant

Ms. Cain is responsible for cadet and cadre's paperwork, pay, awards, travel orders, as well as helping with contracting and getting cadets orders for training.

Ms. Charlotte Marbury

Ms. Charlotte Marbury, Administrative Secretary 

Charlotte Marbury has more than 20 years of experience as a WVU employee assigned to the Mountaineer Battalion. She plans and coordinates all special events such as commissioning and award ceremonies. She also works closely with the potential Cadets in scheduling DODMERB physicals and follow-up appointments.

Office: 304-293-7579

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