Army ROTC Welcomes Major Meinders to the Helm
July 14, 2021 - Dorene DiNaro
The University of New Mexico Army ROTC program recently welcomed Major Jeffrey Meinders as its new leader following the departure of LTC Thomas Chae.
Meinders is an Army Aviator who has been on active duty as an officer for 17 years, with four years of enlisted service in the Missouri National Guard while attending college and ROTC. Recently stationed in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, he served as mission commander for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency Open Skies Treaty until its termination in 2020.
Meinders was drawn to UNM by one of his previous supervisors, Col Ed Brennan, a UNM Air Force ROTC grad, and also by one of his mentors, who also happens to be the person he replaced—LTC Thomas Chae, whom he served within Colorado.
“Both LTC Chae and Col Brennan spoke highly of Albuquerque, the university, and the ROTC programs," he says. "The community support, alumni connections, and opportunities for my family are all things we look forward to here at UNM," he says." Meinders, who came from a predominantly commuter college experience, says he will take particular pride in being a Lobo at New Mexico's flagship university.
His mission here at the UNM Army ROTC department is to commission officers into the United States Army as Second Lieutenants, who will then serve the nation in the active Army, Army National Guard, or Army Reserve. Meinders is ready to lead the charge but feels he will have lots of support. "UNM has a large Army ROTC program, which helps draw quality instructors to a program with such strong cadet interest and camaraderie," he says.
He hopes to help the UNM Army ROTC Unit get back to a pre-COVID environment by engaging in leadership activities with cadets. “Leadership is poorly executed through an online venue,” he says. “I want to ensure that we build a cohesive team, that we put our people first, and instill a belief that winning matters.”
Visit the UNM Army ROTC website for information on the program and what it has to offer.