New colonel settling in to ROTC at Kent State

Caitlyn Wachovec

After active tours in Saudi Arabia, Colorado, and San Antonio, Lt. Col. Ricardo Mitchell has landed at Kent State University to teach and work with senior cadets in the Army ROTC program. Daniel R. Doherty | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

Fresh from Saudi Arabia, Lt. Col. Ricardo Mitchell is situated in a tall, wood-furnished office with a squeaky ceiling in the ROTC building. This is his second week at Kent State as the new lieutenant colonel and professor of military science.

Mitchell oversees everything in the Army ROTC program, and teaches courses to the senior cadets. Courses, such as Developing Adaptive Leaders, prepare the seniors to be commissioned in 2009 as second lieutenants.

Along with Kent State students, Mitchell also oversees Kent State’s partnership school at Youngstown and teaches students from Mount Union who commute to Kent ROTC.

“Kent has a great team of folks from different backgrounds,” Mitchell said. ” Kent has a pretty strong program.”

Even though Mitchell grew up with a military father and stepfather, he didn’t consider joining the forces until his sophomore year when he joined the ROTC. He contracted with the Army his senior year.

Mitchell graduated from Bowling Green State University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He was on a four-year scholarship for football.

The main reason Mitchell joined the Army was because he was tired of seeing his friends denied jobs. Mitchell didn’t have to apply for his job; he was guaranteed a position.

“I wanted to get paid right away,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell has been on active duty since graduating. Directly after graduation, he was commissioned to the 4th Infantry Division in Fort Carson, Colo. In 2003, Mitchell served as the G-5, Chief of Operations for Homeland Security.

Before moving to Kent, he was stationed in Saudi Arabia as the G-3 Training and Operations Advisor with the United States Military Training Mission Team.

Among Mitchell’s many awards and decorations, he has received the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Achievement, and the Humanitarian Service Medal.

Mitchell, his wife, and their 6-year-old live in Kent, close to his wife’s family.

“I like that family is here,” Mitchell said.

When asked what else he liked about Kent, Mitchell said despite what happened May 4, 1970, he has found the community to be “positive and pro-military.”

Mitchell estimates he will be at Kent State for three or four years.

Contact ROTC reporter Caitlyn Wachovec at [email protected].