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Col. Bill Ryan was commissioned as an Aviation Officer in 1994 following graduation from the United States Military Academy. There he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. He initially served in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) as an Attack Platoon Leader, Liaison Officer, and Battalion S1 in 2-101 Aviation Regiment (Eagle Warrior). He then served as the Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General, United States Army Aviation Center of Excellence before returning to Fort Campbell and serving as a Brigade S1 and then commanding Alpha Company, 3-101 Aviation Regiment (Eagle Attack).
Ryan’s following assignments include serving as the Brigade Plans Officer for the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, an aviation assignment officer at the United States Army Human Resources Command, and as a Battalion S3 and XO for 3-101 Aviation Regiment. He subsequently served as the Aide-de-Camp to the 20th Secretary of the Army, Chief of G3 Aviation at the 101st Airborne Division, and as Deputy Brigade Commander for the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade. Ryan commanded 1st Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment (Expect No Mercy) from 2011-2013, and then served for 12 months as the Senior Aviation Trainer on the Eagle Team at the National Training Center. His most recent assignment was as the Commander, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, from 2015-2018. Ryan assumed duties as the Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence, in June 2018.
Ryan’s major deployment history includes Operation Enduring Freedom I (2002), X (2010-2011), XII-XIII (2012-2013), Operation Iraqi Freedom I (2003) and V-VII (2005-2006), and Operation Resolute Support and Freedom Sentinel 2017.
Ryan’s military education includes the Aviation Officer Basic Course, Armor Officer Advanced Course, Combined Arms and Services Staff School, Joint Advanced Warfighting School, and service as an Army War College Fellow at Stanford University. He holds two master’s degrees, one from the National Defense University in Campaign Planning and National Security Strategy and another in Policy Management from Georgetown University.
Ryan’s awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters, and Air Medal (Numeral 3). He has been awarded the Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Combat Action Badge, and Army Staff Identification Badge. He is a Master Army Aviator and a member of the Honorable Order of St. Michael (Silver Award).
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