U.S. Army War College Officers return for 15th consecutive year


The Peters Township Public Library will welcome senior military officers from the U. S. Army War College for a panel discussion on National Security and Challenges from China on Thursday, March 11 at 7:00 p.m. online via Zoom. This program offers the community the opportunity to hear from officers who will address national security issues and the role the military plays in response.

Please click the link below to join the webinar:
This webinar is brought to you via Zoom through the generous support of The Peters Township Library Foundation and the Beinhauer Family Funeral Homes and Cremation Services.

Featured speakers at the program:

LTC John Ament Overview of the Instruments of Power, International Relations Theories in General, and How the Department of Defense Presents the Competition Continuum

Lieutenant Colonel John L. Ament is a native of Michigan. He attended Grand Canyon University where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing, was a Distinguished Military Graduate, and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant through the Reserve Officer’s Training Corps as a Nurse Corps Officer in 1998. LTC Ament earned his Master’s Degree in Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration from Baylor University. He is certified as an Operating Room Nurse and is a Fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives.

LTC Ament’s previous commissioned assignments include Staff Nurse, Telemetry, Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu HI; Staff Nurse, Operating Room, Tripler Army Medical Center; Officer in Charge Operating Room, 772 Forward Surgical Team, Fort Campbell KY with deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom; Nurse Methods Analyst, Martin Army Community Hospital, Fort Benning GA; Chief, Perioperative Nursing Services, Reynolds Army Community Hospital, Fort Sill OK with deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan; Nurse Fellow, Training With Industry, Kaiser Permanente, Oakland CA; Director, Surgical Services Service Line, Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu HI.

LTC Ament is a graduate of the AMEDD Officer Basic Course, the Combat Casualty Care Course, the AMEDD Officer Advance Course, and resident Army Command and General Staff College. LTC Ament’s awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with 2 OLC, Army Commendation Medal with 3 OLC, and Army Achievement Medal with 2 OLC. He has also earned the Expert Field Medical Badge, Combat Action Badge, Parachutist Badge, and the Air Assault Badge.

LTC Ament is married to the former Rachel Ryan, a Dental Hygienist, from Rogers City Michigan. They have four children, Paul, Kate, Luke, and Isla.

LTC Charles KnollFrom the Past to the Present International Relations Theory

A native of Dallas, Texas, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Knoll attended the United States Military Academy graduating in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Engineering and a Field Artillery Branch commission.

LTC Knoll first served as a Company FSO, Platoon FDO, and Platoon Leader in 1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery, 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division in Schweinfurt, Germany from 2001 to 2003 and deployed in support of KFOR 4A. From 2004 to 2005, he was assigned as the Division Cavalry Squadron FSO for 1st Squadron, 4th U.S. Cavalry, 1st Infantry Division and deployed again in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM II.

LTC Knoll then briefly served with 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Ft. Lewis, Washington as the Battalion FSO and departed with the Brigade to Vilseck, Germany where they re-flagged to 2nd Cavalry Regiment. From 2006 to 2010, he served as the 1st Squadron FSO, Cobra Battery Commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery Commander, and Field Artillery Squadron S3, as well as deployed in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM 07-09.

Following attendance at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas in Austin, where he earned a Master in Public Policy, he served as an Operations Officer with the 4th Battlefield Coordination Detachment, ARCENT in Sumter, South Carolina. During this assignment from 2012-2013, he deployed twice to the Combined Air Operations Center at Al Udeid Air Base in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM. In 2013, LTC Knoll was then assigned to 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Ft. Carson, Colorado where he served as the Brigade FSO, Battalion S3, and Battalion XO, as well as deployed in support of OPERATION SPARTAN SHIELD. From 2015 to 2017, he served as the 4th Infantry Division Artillery Deputy Commander and the Executive Officer to the Commanding General 4th Infantry Division and Ft. Carson. LTC Knoll then served as the USAREUR Chief of Current Operations from August 2017 through July 2018.

Most recently, LTC Knoll served as the Commander of Field Artillery Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment from August 2017 through July 2018.

LTC Knoll is married to Martina from Graz, Austria. They have two children: daughter Kaitlin and son George.

His awards include the Bronze Star Medal (one oak leaf cluster), Meritorious Service Medal (three oak leaf clusters), the Army Commendation Medal (one oak leaf cluster), Army Achievement Medal (one oak leaf cluster), the Combat Action Badge, and the Parachutist’s Badge.

LTC John WilcoxInformation Space and Economics in Competition

Lieutenant Colonel John Wilcox is a graduate of The Virginia Military Institute and earned his commission in the Military Police Corps in 1999. As a Lieutenant in the 58th Military Company in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, LTC Wilcox served as a platoon leader. During his time in the MP Corps, he served in numerous roles including Special Reaction Team Leader and Company Commander, 39th MP Detachment. In 2006 LTC Wilcox deployed to Iraq as the 1st Mechanized National Police Transition Team as the Military Police Advisor.

Lieutenant Colonel Wilcox volunteered to join the Civil Affairs regiment and attended the Civil Affairs Qualification Course. Upon graduation, he served as Civil Affairs Team 714 Team Leader for the 97th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne) and Company Operations Chief, A Company, 97th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne). He deployed to the southern Philippines in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM- Philippines where he synchronized and integrated Civil Affairs operations throughout the Mindanao region.

Lieutenant Colonel Wilcox returned to the Philippines as Company Commander, A Company, 97th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne) to advise the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) and JSOTF-P command on all issues pertaining to civil affairs operations within Mindano. LTC Wilcox led an effort within the Philippines Civil Military Operations School to professionalize the force and to establish standing civil affairs units to support the demand for competent civil affairs forces.

In 2015, Lieutenant Colonel Wilcox was assigned as the Assistant Chief of Staff G9, 2nd Infantry Division. As the G9, Lieutenant Colonel Wilcox primarily worked with local governments in the Uijeongbu, Dongducheon, and Pocheon city areas to ensure the strong relationships with those regions remained so.

In 2017, LTC Wilcox assumed command of 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne). The Battalion is responsible for the evaluation, training, and qualification of U.S. Army, Sister Service, and Allied Civil Affairs Soldiers in order to provide DoD the capability to conduct worldwide Civil Affairs in support of the General Purpose and Special Operations Forces in ambiguous and complex environments worldwide.

In 2019 LTC Wilcox volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan as part of NATO Special Operations Component Command-Afghanistan as the Director of the Afghan Local Police Special Operations Advisory Cell, where he was responsible for shutting down the $60 million program consisting of approximately 30,000 Afghan Guardians across the entire country.

Lieutenant Colonel Wilcox is married to the former Nellie Cho, they have three children; Hannah (10), Aiden (8), Lukas (5).

LTC Stephen ThibodeauU.S. Military in Competition

Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Thibodeau is a Field Artillery Officer and a 2000 graduate of The University of Rhode Island. Following the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course, LTC Thibodeau was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery (2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division) at Fort Hood, Texas as a Fire Direction Officer {FDO), Fire Support Officer (FSO), Paladin Platoon Leader, Battery Executive Officer, Battalion Maintenance Officer, Battalion FDO, and Battalion Deputy S-3. From January 2004 to February 2005, he deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as the Battalion FDO.

Following the Field Artillery Advanced Course, LTC Thibodeau was assigned to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Vilseck, Germany serving as the Regimental Deputy FSO and later deploying in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in August 2007.

LTC Thibodeau took command of Bravo Battery, Fires Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment while the Battery was deployed to Diyala Province, Iraq, conducting combat operations as a motorized Infantry Company in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Upon redeployment in October 2008, the battery began transitioning to the newly fielded M777A2.

From March 2010 to May 2011, LTC Thibodeau was assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Center, Grafenwoehr, Germany as the Chief of Multinational Training Exercises.

Following the Command and General Staff College, LTC Thibodeau was assigned to the 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson serving as the Brigade FSO. From April 2013 to October 2014, LTC Thibodeau served as the S3 (Operations Officer) for the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery (2nd BCT/41D) and later as Executive Officer (XO), including a deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation Spartan Shield from October 2013 to June 2014. In October 2014, LTC Thibodeau was assigned as the S3 for the 4th Division Artillery until June of 2015. LTC Thibodeau was assigned to The National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California from July of 2015. LTC Thibodeau has served as the Field Artillery S3 trainer as well as the Executive Officer trainer. He also served as the Brigade Fire Support Officer trainer during his time at The National Training Center. Prior to attending the Army War College, he commanded the 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery assigned to the 1st Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division, Fort Wainwright Alaska. While in Command, the battalion deployed to Operation Inherent Resolve – Iraq from August 2019 to July 2020.

LTC Thibodeau is a native of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from The University of Rhode Island.

He is married to Pamela (née Neil) of Airdrie, Scotland, and joined by their children, Sadie (14) and Stella (8).

LTC Leslie SemrauChina Military in Competition

Lieutenant Colonel Leslie Semrau is a student of the United States Army War College. She received her commission as a Pilot Training Candidate from Virginia Tech in 2002. She is a graduate of Undergraduate Pilot Training, Instructor Pilot Training, Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College, and the Air Force Legislative Fellowship.

Prior to her arrival at Carlisle Barracks, she was assigned to the 31st Fighter Wing, Aviano Air Base, Italy, where she served as the Commander of the 56thRescue Squadron. Previous non-command assignments include service as a Legislative Liaison, United States Central Command, Pentagon; Chief of Standardizations and Evaluations and Executive Officer, 563rd Rescue Group in Tucson, AZ; Evaluator Pilot, Flight Commander, Instructor Pilot and Weapons and Tactics Officer, 41st Rescue Squadron in Valdosta, GA; Executive Officer and Pilot, 33rdRescue Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa.

Her command assignments include 24 months as Commander, 56th Rescue Squadron, 31st Operations Group, 31st Fighter Wing, Aviano Air Base, Italy; 6 months as Commander, 56th Rescue Squadron, 48th Operations Group, 48th Fighter Wing, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England; 4 months as Commander, 46th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, Al Asad Air Base, Iraq; and 4 months as Commander, 303rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa, Djibouti.

Lieutenant Colonel Semrau holds a Master of Arts in Human Resource Management from Webster University and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech. Her awards and decorations include Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with OLC, the Air Force Air Medal with 4 OLC, the Air Force Aerial Achievement Medal, and the Air Force Commendation Medal with 2 OLC, Afghanistan and Iraq Campaign Medals, Humanitarian Service Medal, and the Air Force Command Pilot Badge.

LTC John Ament will discuss The Diplomatic instrument of power in Competition and offer closing remarks. A question and answer session will follow the panel discussion.