The University of New Mexico Army ROTC program recently welcomed Maj. Jeffrey Meinders as its new leader following the departure of Lt. Col. 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. He was most recently stationed in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, serving as mission commander for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency Open Skies Treaty.
Meinders said he was drawn to UNM by one of his previous supervisors, Col. Ed Brennan, a UNM Air Force ROTC grad, and Chae.
“Both Chae and Brennan spoke highly of Albuquerque, the university and the ROTC programs," he said. “The community support, alumni connections and opportunities for my family are all things we look forward to here at UNM.”
Meinders said his mission will be 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.
“UNM has a large Army ROTC program, which helps draw quality instructors to a program with such strong cadet interest and camaraderie, he said.
He said he hopes to help the UNM Army ROTC unit get back to a pre-COVID environment by engaging in leadership activities with cadets.