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Department of Military Instruction : Display Biographical Details

Photo of

COL William Ostlund

Director of Department of Military Instruction
US Army
Army Branch:

Contact Information:
Office Location: Washington Hall, Room 5107
Phone: 845.938.4214

​​​​​Enlisting in the Army in 1983, Colonel Ostlund served with the 1st Battalion, 75th Rangers and was stationed at Hunter Army Airfield through 1987. As a Staff Sergeant he transitioned to the Nebraska National Guard; he simultaneously enrolled at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and joined their ROTC program. Colonel Ostlund was commissioned in the Infantry and re-entered the active Army in 1990. He served as a platoon leader and company executive officer in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault); this tour included service in OPERATION DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM. He was then assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment where he again served as a Platoon Leader and a Company Executive Officer. He commanded a mechanized infantry company in the Republic of Korea and then attended graduate school at The Fletcher School, Tufts University prior to being assigned as an Associate Professor at West Point. Colonel Ostlund was subsequently stationed in Vicenza, Italy where he served as an Operations Officer in multiple organizations; this assignment included service in the BALKANS and in OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. After a joint assignment in U.S. Strategic Command, Colonel Ostlund returned to Italy to command 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team; this assignment included service in OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, Kunar Province, Afghanistan. Colonel Ostlund next served as the Deputy Commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment from which he twice commanded a large Joint Inter-Agency Special Operations Counterterrorism Task Force in Afghanistan prior to taking command of 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division; an assignment that included service in OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, Zabul Province, Afghanistan. He next served as the Executive Officer to the Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command then the Director of the Commander’s Action Group, U.S. Central Command. Currently, COL Ostlund serves as the Director of Military Instruction at the United States Military Academy. Colonel Ostlund holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a Master’s Degree from The Fletcher School, Tufts University. His military education includes the Command and General Staff Officers Course, the Joint and Combined Warfighting School, and he served as a Senior Service College Fellow at Tufts University. Colonel Ostlund has been deemed a Distinguished Member of the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment and the 75th Ranger Regiment. He authored “Tactical Leader Lessons Learned in Afghanistan,” published in Military Review (July/August 2009), “Irregular Warfare: Counterterrorism Forces in Support of Counterinsurgency Operations,” published by the Institute of Land Warfare (September 2012), and “Conventional Force and Special Operation Forces: Interoperability and Interdependence,” published by the Institute of Land Warfare (October 2014).