Release Date: July 16, 2010
Director Named for ASU’s Center for Security Studies
Dr. Robert S. Ehlers Jr., a U.S. Air Force colonel and professor of airpower history at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell Air Force Base, has been named director of the new Center for Security Studies at Angelo State University.
The appointment, effective Aug. 16, was announced by ASU President Joseph C. Rallo. Additionally, Ehlers will hold an appointment as a professor in the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice, pending approval by the Board of Regents of the Texas Tech University System. Ehlers’ retirement from the Air Force is effective. Sept. 1.
“Dr. Ehlers brings to Angelo State strong credentials, both in military intelligence and in international affairs,” Rallo said. “His understanding of the academic needs in military intelligence training will help us grow our Center for Security Studies quickly and effectively in line with our emerging national needs in security.”
For Ehlers, the ASU position will mark a return to his roots in military intelligence, having completed his first Air Force assignment in 1988 at Goodfellow AFB, where he graduated from the intelligence officer fundamentals course. He returned to Goodfellow in 2006 to serve a year as commander of the 17th Training Support Squadron and then a second year as deputy commander of the 17th Training Group.
When that assignment ended in 2008, he was transferred to Maxwell AFB, where he has served as a professor of airpower history in the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies.
Between 1988 and his return to Goodfellow in 2006, Ehlers held assignments at Minot AFB, N.D.; Scott AFB, Ill.; Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii; and Ramstein AB, Germany. During his military career, he has served as intelligence applications and analysis officer, combat intelligence branch chief and multinational intelligence interoperability chief for the directorate of intelligence for the United States Pacific Command. He has also held academic appointments in the Department of History at the U.S Air Force Academy.
A native of Worthington, Ohio, Ehlers earned his bachelor’s degree in international studies from Ohio State University. He received a master’s degree in history from the University of Florida, then returned to Ohio State to complete his doctorate in history. He also completed Squadron Officer School at Maxwell AFB in 1994 and Air Command Staff College, which designated him a distinguished graduate, in 2002.
The Air Force has awarded him the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal with Star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.
As a historian, his major field of study has been in military and airpower history with minors in modern European history and African history. He is the author of two published or contracted books on strategic airpower as well as more than a dozen articles, reviews or presentations.
Ehlers has been married to the former Leisa LaCrone of Zanesville, Ohio, for 23 years. She is a registered nurse with a B.S. in business administration from Miami University of Ohio and a B.S.R.N. from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. They have three daughters: Emily, 20; Bailey, 17; and Kina, 6.