U.S. Army Col. Dean Rondeau, left, and his son, U.S. Army Capt. Derek Rondeau, after a promotion ceremony at Fort Drum, N.Y.
Wolfeboro father and son receive promotions
Local residents know Dean Rondeau, 49, as the second-in-command with the Wolfeboro Police Department. But when he's not policing the community, he's training troops in military intelligence operations as a newly promoted colonel with the U.S. Army Reserve.
Last month, Col. Rondeau was honored to conduct the ceremony in which he promoted his Derek, 26, to the rank of captain in the U.S. Army.
Both Rondeaus are graduates from Norwich University, a military college in Vermont, and both have served in Afghanistan.
Derek Rondeau was promoted to captain on Dec. 14 in front of his battalion, 2nd BN 87th Infantry at Fort Drum, N.Y. He returned home from Afghanistan in May after serving 14 months in theater as an infantry platoon leader, infantry company executive officer and infantry company commander.
While there, he earned a Bronze Star and a Combat Infantryman's Badge "for engaging the enemies of the United States in close combat" while in Kandahar Province. One of those combat scenarios included a firefight with Taliban troops in which he led his troops to rush an enemy position.
"He called me afterwards and said, 'It was pretty dicey out there,'" Col. Rondeau said of his son, who resides at Fort Drum with his wife, Stephanie.
Another combat experience involved fighting the enemy through a rocky mountain pass, where Capt. Rondeau manned a 50-caliber machine gun mounted on a Humvee and shot at enemy troops.
Does Dad worry?
"There wasn't a day go by I didn't think about what my son was going through," Col. Rondeau said, adding that since he was privy to intelligence reports, he knew what the enemy was up to.
"At the same time, I took great comfort knowing he was extremely well-trained," the elder Rondeau said. "He graduated the top of his class, and Norwich University has great military training."
Father and son also communicated by phone, with dad providing additional advice on operations.
For instance, Dean told Derek how to prepare his troops for a middle-of-the-night raid, when the enemy is most fatigued and vulnerable.
In addition to administering his son's promotion, Col. Rondeau was honored with three awards at a separate ceremony on Dec. 7.
The first was a Meritorious Service Medal for his work as a battalion commander training enlisted men in military intelligence and officers in various disciplines. The second was an Army Commendation Medal for intelligence operations from 2009-2010. The third was the Knowlton Award for Excellence in Military Intelligence.
Dean Rondeau has served with the Wolfeboro Police Department since 1996 and currently holds the rank of lieutenant.