Colonel Mark E. Rosenstein M’95 M’98 worried that deployment would interrupt his studies at SUNY Oswego.
Stationed at the U.S. Army installation Fort Drum near Watertown, N.Y., in the mid-1990s, Rosenstein was among the first SUNY Oswego extended learning students on base; he also commuted to the Oswego campus. When the Army’s 10th Mountain Division deployed to Haiti, Rosenstein was among the troops.
But rather than put his books aside, Rosenstein continued his studies: through the postal service.
“I’d sit in Haiti in an army tent in really miserable conditions, doing my school work,” he said. “It meant a lot to me that my Oswego professors were willing to work with me.”
Rosenstein’s wife, Chong, would deliver his work to his professors and pick up the next assignments. It’s an example of the kind of place he recalls SUNY Oswego and northern New York to be: a community.
Today, the decorated officer and more than 33-year veteran of the U.S. Army is the chief of staff for the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency, where he is responsible for coordinating the efforts of the 7,300-member organization, managing a $10 billion-plus budget. He directs staff efforts to provide global support systems for the president, secretary of defense, military departments and combat support agencies. He will officially retire in October.
“We’ve lived around the world—Korea, Japan, Greece, Italy, Germany,” said Col. Rosenstein, who has also been deployed to Iraq three times. “But I still have great memories of my time in upstate New York and attending SUNY Oswego.”
Colonel Rosenstein enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1983. His service has been recognized with multiple awards and medals, including the Bronze Star, the Joint Service Commendation Medal and the NATO Medal, to name just a few.
In May, he was inducted into the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame at Fort Benning, Ga.
He and Chong, who have been married 32 years, have two daughters: Sarah and Tia. At his Army retirement party in June, he presented each of his family members, including his mother, Karlene, with red roses representing their years of service to the U.S. as well.
“I’m very fortunate that somehow, this managed to become my life,” he said.