Mike Eliassen, Lieutenant Colonel, US Army, Retired

Running Start Advisor
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  • Leadership
  • Operational Planning
  • Leading Change
  • Motivating
  • Team Building


Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired, Mike Eliassen commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant of Infantry through Officer Candidate School in June of 2001. Prior to joining the US Army, LTC Eliassen was a high school teacher and soccer coach at Shadle Park High School in Spokane, Washington.

Mike’s current position is as an Advisor in EWU’s Running Start Program in Dual Enrollment.

He began his military career as a Rifle Platoon Leader and Rifle Company Executive Officer with 1st Battalion 36th Infantry (Mechanized) and as a Platoon Leader and Operations Officer for E Company, 51st Infantry – Long Range Surveillance – V Corps, both in Germany and Iraq.
LTC Eliassen commanded C Company and Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at both at Fort Campbell, KY and in Afghanistan. He then served as an Infantry Branch Assignment Officer at Human Resources Command, in Alexandria, VA and Fort Knox, KY. He lived in Canberra, Australia where LTC Eliassen graduated from the Australian Command and Staff Course (Joint) and the Australian National University.

He then served as the Executive Officer of 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry (Light) from 2012- 2014, Fort Knox, KY and Afghanistan. He was then selected through the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program to serve as the Regimental S1, Senior Personnel Officer, for the 75th Ranger Regiment from 2014-2016, at Fort Moore, GA. In May of 2018 he finished a two-year tour as the Department Chair and Professor of Military Science at Eastern Washington University.

LTC Eliassen commanded the 721 Soldiers of the 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, Tomahawks, from June 2018-June 2020. Following his command assignment he took the reins of the Texan Battalion, Senior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, TX with Texas A&M-Central Texas and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor as part of the battalion. There were over 200 cadets from all three universities in the Texan battalion, producing over 50 2nd Lieutenants each year.

He has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan five times, for a total of 50 months.

LTC Eliassen earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and Honors with International Emphasis from Washington State University, a Bachelor of Arts in Education-Social Science from Eastern Washington University, a Master of Military Science, Strategic Leadership from American Military University, and a Master of Military Studies from The Australian National University. Mike is also a Level III Certified Alpine Ski Instructor through Professional Ski Instructors of America, a U.S. C License through U.S. Soccer, and a National Diploma from United Soccer Coaches.

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal with 7 OLC, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal with 1 OLC, the Navy Achievement Medal with Star, Iraq and Afghanistan Campaign Medals, and the Overseas Service Ribbon with Numeral ‘6’, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Valorous Unit Award, the Meritorious Unit Commendation with 2 OLC, the German Silver Jump Wings, the Australian Parachutist Badge, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, and the Ranger Tab.

He is also a recipient of the Order of St. Maurice (National Infantry Association) and the Order of St. Barbara (National Field Artillery Association).

LTC Eliassen’s military education includes the Battalion Pre-Command Courses, School of Cadet Command Senior Leader and Instructor Courses, Ranger Assessment and Selection Program II, the Australian Command and Staff Course (Joint), Joint Firepower Controller Course, the Maneuver Captain’s Career Course, Close Air Support Operations Course, Jumpmaster School, Reconnaissance & Surveillance Leader’s Course, NBC Defense Course, Airborne School, Mechanized Leader’s Course, Ranger School, Infantry Officer Basic Course, Officer Candidate School, and Basic Combat Training.

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