Colonel Shawn Mateer has spent his adult life serving our Nation with over 30 years in uniform. Since his retirement from active duty, he continues to serve as a Department of the Army Civilian.
Mateer grew up in Galion and graduated from GHS. A percussionist, he was active in both marching and concert bands. In addition, he was the manager for the basketball and baseball teams for four years. He was the Freshman Class Vice President and Varsity G Secretary his senior year.
At Ohio University, he earned a BS in Education (1980), participated as a freshman in the Marching 110 and was active in the Army ROTC program throughout his college years. He won a 3-year ROTC scholarship at the end of his freshman year. During breaks, he completed the U.S. Army Airborne School at Fort Benning, GA, and the U.S. Assault School at Fort Campbell, KY. The Cadet Battalion Commander of his detachment his senior year, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Regular Army upon his graduation.
His career has led him to assignments at numerous bases throughout the United States and includes stops at Fort Benning; GA, Fort Bragg, NC; Fort Campbell, KY; Fort Leavenworth, KS; the Pentagon where he was second in command under Col. David Patraeus; Fort Knox, KY, where he was responsible for the training and readiness of over 500 soldiers; and the United States Central Command which is responsible for operations in the Middle East and, at the time, most of Africa. While with the Command, he had the opportunity to interact with and brief many world and national leaders, including President Bush, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Rice and Presidents Karzai and Mushaffaf.
His schooling includes the Basic Infantry Officer’s Course, the rigorous US Army Ranger School, the Advanced Infantry Officer’s Course, Pathfinder training, and the US Army Command and General Staff College. He holds two MS degrees (Administration and Strategic Studies) and has also attended the United States Army War College.
His overseas deployments include serving in the Sinai desert (1982), being part of the invasion force to Grenada (1983); peacekeeping duties on the Sinai peninsula (1987), advanced party duty as part of DESERT SHIELD in Saudi Arabia (1990), participating in the invasion of Iraq as part of DESERT STORM, serving as part of the combat operations in Somalia and conducting contingency planning in Haiti (1994).
One of Shawn’s greatest accomplishments was assuming responsibility for the recruitment and initial training of the “new soldier” as the Army has expanded to fight the Global War on Terrorism. His team has transformed the training in order to be better able to fight the new enemy. This has included a program that took Arabic native and heritage speakers and transformed them into soldiers ready for immediate deployment as interpreters for deployed units.
Among Mateer’s numerous awards is the Distinguished Service Medal, our Nation’s third highest military award.
The son of the late Don H. Mateer and Virginia Mateer-Barr, Shawn has two siblings, Mike (GHS ’72) and Molly (GHS ’79). He and his wife Liz, an elementary teacher, have one son who graduated from West Point in 2009 and was medically retired following his second deployment to Afghanistan.