Col. Michael F. Rothermel recently retired as the Chief, Security Forces, Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command at Robins Air Force Base, Ga. Rothermel is a 1984 graduate of Wickenburg High School and son of Susie and the late Fritz Rothermel of Wickenburg.
Col. Rothermel was responsible for organizing, training and equipping the command’s garrison and expeditionary security forces, which support more than 75,000 airmen and more than 350 aircraft, assigned to three numbered air forces, 34 wings, three flying groups, one space wing and 620 mission support units.
Col. Rothermel earned his commission in 1989 through the Air Force ROTC at Northern Arizona University and joined the Air Force Reserves in 2001. His Air Force Reserve service includes command of the 419 Mission Support Group at Hill AFB, home of the F-35A; Chief of Assignments at the Air Reserve Personnel Center; command of the 610th Security Forces Squadron; and active duty support as Individual Mobilization Augmentee for Air Education and Training Command Security Forces staff. He also served in numerous leadership positions including: twice deployed Defense Force Commander Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom, Staging Officer - Joint Inaugural Committee, Headquarters Air Force Reserve, Air and Space Operations, Operation Safe Passage Airborne Security and Air Force Security Forces Center transformation team.
Col. Rothermel’s eduction includes 1989 Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice, Northern Arizona University; 1991 Air Base Ground Defense School, Fort Dix, N.J.; 1991 Combatting Terrorism on Military Installations, Fort McClellan, Ala.; 1996 Squadron Officers School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.; 1998 Contingency Warplanners Course, Montgomery, Ala.; 1999 Master of Arts in Human Resource Management, Webster University, Mo.; 2005 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence; 2013 Air War College and Master of Arts in Strategic Studies, Montgomery, Ala.
His assignments have included: Jan. 1990 – Aug. 1992, Flight Leader 384th SPS, McConnell AFB, Kan.; Aug. 1992 – Sept. 1993, Shift Commander, 8 SFS, Kunsan AFB Korea; Sept. 1993 – Sept. 1994, Chief Security Police, 673 SPTG, Eareckson (Shemya) AS, Alaska; Sept. 1994 – Jun 1996, Operations Officer 325 SFS, Tyndall AFB, Fla.; June 1996 – Nov. 1997, Commander, 325 SFS, Tyndall AFB, Fla.; Nov. 1996 – Feb. 1997, Chief, Staging Operations, Presidential Inaugural Committee, Bolling AFB, Washington, D.C.; April 1997 – Aug. 1998, Chief Support Ops Branch, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas; Aug. 1998 – May 2001, Executive Officer to the Director Security Forces, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas; May 2001 – April 2007, Defense Force Commander 610 SFS, NAS JRB Carswell, Fort Worth, Texas; (May 2002 - Sep 2002, Commander, 321st Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, Masirah, Oman) (Jan 2003 - May 2003, Commander, 410 Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, Undisclosed Location); April 2007 – June Operations Branch Chief HQ AETC A7S, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas; June 2009 – June 2012, Commander, 610 SFS, NAS JRB Carswell, Fort Worth, Texas; July 2012 – June 2013, student in residence, Air War College, Maxwell, AFB, Montgomery, Ala.; July 2013 – March 2015 Chief Assignments Division, Air Reserve Personnel Center, Denver, Co.; April 2015 – July 2016 Commander 419 Mission Support Group, Hill AFB, Layton, Utah; Aug. 2016 – retirement, Chief Security Forces, HQ Air Force Reserve Command, Robins AFB, Ga.
As his career progressed, Rothermel achieved the rank of Second Lieutenant in May 1989; First Lieutenant in Sept. 1991; Captain in Sept. 1993; Major in Jan. 2001; Lt. Colonel in Aug. 2005; and Colonel in April 2015.
Rothermel’s major awards and decorations include: Airman’s Medal Bronze Star Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters; Aerial Achievement Medal Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters; Joint Service Achievement Medal Air Force Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters; Joint Meritorious Unit Award AF Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device; Legion of Merit.
He also earned the USAF Excellence in Competition Rifleman Badge; SAC Defender Challenge Team Member; and PACAF Defender Challenge Team Leader. His effective dates of promotion include June 2003 – Nov. 2004, Instructor Leadership Track NAS JRB Carswell, Fort Worth, Texas; Nov. 2004 – April 2005 Staff Officer, AF Force Protection Battle Lab, San Antonio, Texas) (Jan 2005 – _Apr 2006, Chief Force Protection and Homeland Defense, Headquarters, Air Force, Washington, D.C.