Michael J. Rounds, a former U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, assistant professor, and deputy commandant of the United States Military Academy Preparatory School, became the 13th president of the Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades on July 1, 2013.
President Rounds graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1988, majoring in aerospace engineering and playing football all four years, earning two varsity letters. During those four seasons, Army defeated Navy three times and Air Force twice, claimed two Commander in Chief trophies and defeated Michigan State in the 1984 Cherry Bowl and Illinois in the 1985 Peach Bowl. He received his commission as a second lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers.
After completion of the Army Engineer Officer Basic Course, Airborne School, and Ranger School, he was assigned to the First Infantry Division (Forward) in Boeblingen, West Germany, serving as a combat engineer platoon leader and company executive officer in Alpha Company, 1st Engineer Battalion until 1991.
From 1991-93, he served as an observer/controller and engineer company analyst with the Light Forces Training Team at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California.
After attending the M1A1 Tank Commanders Certification Course and the Armor Officer Advanced Course at Fort Knox, Kentucky, he was assigned to the 20th Engineer Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, at Fort Hood, Texas, where he served as assistant brigade engineer and commander of Alpha Company from 1993-96.
President Rounds attended the University of Minnesota from 1996-98, earning his masters degree in mechanical engineering. He then served as an assistant professor and executive officer in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at West Point from 1998-2000, teaching courses in thermodynamics.
After attending the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, he served as the battalion operations officer and battalion executive officer for the 326th Engineer Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) from June 2001-June 2003, including deploying with the Division in February 2003 and conducting combat operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom I.
President Rounds was then assigned to the engineer staff of the Combined Forces Command in Yongsan, South Korea, where he served as the engineer operations officer on the joint and combined staff of the U.S. and Republic of Korea Forces from June 2003-June 2005.
In 2005, he returned to the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at West Point where he taught courses in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and mechanical engineering design and served as the director of the Mechanical Engineering Design Group and the department executive officer.
In 2008, President Rounds was assigned as the deputy commandant of the United States Military Academy Preparatory School (USMAPS) at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. In March 2009, he deployed to Afghanistan where he served as the commander of the Army Corps of Engineers Bagram Area Office for one year, supervising major construction projects at Bagram Air Field and four surrounding Afghan provinces. After redeploying from Afghanistan, President Rounds returned to USMAPS as deputy and also served as chief project officer for the construction of the new USMAPS facility at West Point and the relocation of the school in the summer of 2011 when Fort Monmouth was closed.
President Rounds retired from the Army after 25 years of service with the rank of lieutenant colonel in May 2013.President Rounds was born in Madison, South Dakota, and grew up in Andover, Minnesota, graduating from Blaine Senior High School in 1984. He has been a religious education teacher, youth sports coach, Boy Scout den leader, and volunteer in many ministries with his church.
His awards include the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Star Medals (one for Iraq and one for Afghanistan), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, five awards of the Army Meritorious Service Medal, Airborne Wings, Air Assault Wings, and the Army Ranger Tab. He is a licensed professional engineer.
President Rounds and his wife Mary Nell have three sons, Patrick, a junior at Princeton University, Daniel, a freshman at Princeton University, and Thomas, a junior at Penncrest High School.]]>