Colonel Wayne R. Hertel was commissioned as a Regular Army Second Lieutenant in December 1993 through the University of Utah ROTC program and reported to Fort Sill, Oklahoma in January 1994 to attend the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course. In July 1994, Colonel Hertel reported to Fort Lewis, Washington, where he served as a Company Fire Support Officer for Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regimental Combat Team (Manchu), as the Battery Fire Direction Officer and later Battery Executive Officer for Bravo Battery, 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery Regiment (Automatic), and then as the 2-8 FA Battalion Fire Direction Officer.
In February 1998, Colonel Hertel returned to Fort Sill to attend the Field Artillery Officer Advanced Course followed by the Combined Arms and Services Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Upon completion of CAS3 in August 1998, Colonel Hertel reported to the 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Red Cloud, South Korea, where he served as the Indianhead Division Plans Officer. Colonel Hertel was next assigned to the 4th Battalion, 1st Field Artillery Regiment (First or Not at All) at Fort Riley, Kansas in October 1999 where he served as the 4-1 FA Gunner Battalion Fire Direction Officer and Commander of Charlie Battery (Cannibals). Upon completion of battery command in May 2002, Colonel Hertel reported to Fort Irwin, California where he served as the Fire Support Observer/Controller (OC) for the Tarantula Team (Airborne), the Light Infantry Trainers at the National Training Center.
In August 2004, Colonel Hertel attended the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he also earned a Master’s of Arts Degree in Leadership and Management from Webster University. Upon graduation from CGSC, Colonel Hertel returned to Fort Riley where he served as the Brigade Fire Support Officer for the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division (Duty First) and as the Battalion Operations Officer and later Battalion Executive Officer for the 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment (Hamilton’s Own). In February 2008, Colonel Hertel was assigned to the Iraq Assistance Group where he served as the Deputy J5 (Plans) and later as the Deputy J35 (FUOPS). During this deployment, Colonel Hertel also served as the Iraqi Security Forces Planner for the XVIII Airborne Corps / Multi National Corps – Iraq. Colonel Hertel returned to Fort Riley and the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division where he served as the Devil Brigade Operations Officer, Brigade Executive Officer, and Deputy Brigade Commander.
In June 2010, Colonel Hertel reported to Fort Stewart, Georgia and the 3rd Infantry Division where he served as the Marne Division Deputy G3 deploying to Iraq and later as the Battalion Commander of the 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery Regiment (Battlekings), the fires battalion for the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division (Spartans) where he deployed to Afghanistan. In July 2013, Colonel Hertel reported to the US Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island where he served as a Military Professor in the Joint Military Operations Department of the War College and graduated from the Naval War College where he earned a Master’s of Arts Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies.
Colonel Hertel’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Army Meritorious Unit Commendation with Oak Leaf Cluster, the National Defense Service Medal with service star, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, the Iraq Campaign Medal with three campaign stars, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Korea Defense Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Ribbon with Numeral “3”, the NATO Medal, the Air Assault Badge, and the Senior Parachutist Badge.
Colonel Hertel is married to the former Suzanne Vargo of Salt Lake City, Utah. They have three children, Megan (24), Grayson (21) and Ryan (14).