Following a rigorous national search, U.S. Army Col. Doug Simon has been selected Commandant of Tarleton State University’s Corps of Cadets and Dean of its Leadership and Military College. He begins his duties July 1, pending approval by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents.
A member of the Minnesota National Guard since 1989, Col. Simon currently serves as the State Staff Judge Advocate for Minnesota, advising the Adjutant General and senior leaders on military law. He also is Senior Judge Advocate and Branch Manager for the Minnesota National Guard Judge Advocate Corps.
His higher education career spans more than 20 years as a faculty member at Southwest Minnesota State University, where he chaired the Department of Business and served on accreditation, strategic planning and institutional assessment committees. His diverse academic background includes teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in public and private law, leadership and public policy.
“Colonel Simon’s 33 years of distinguished military leadership and his proven commitment to student success speak for themselves,” said Dr. Diane Stearns, university Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. “His experience and personal character will lead our Corps of Cadets and military college through its next thriving chapter.”
Part student military organization and part leadership training, including a minor in leadership studies, the Texan Corps of Cadets is the nation’s only such group not associated with a senior military college. Started in 1917 when Tarleton became a founding member of The Texas A&M University System and re-established in 2016, the corps has more than doubled its enrollment over the past six years.
Following graduation, many Texan cadets commission through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps as officers in the Army — a partnership dating back more than 100 years — or Air Force or Marine Corps. Others follow a civilian track called Texan Leader, with no military obligation.
“It is a great privilege to join the Tarleton family,” Col. Simon said. “With its legacy of teaching, coaching and mentoring, the Texan Corps of Cadets is certain to become the top student-focused leadership and development program in the state. I want to be part of that.”
Col. Simon holds a PhD in sociology from South Dakota State University; a juris doctor from the University of South Dakota; a Master of Laws in Military Law from the Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School in Charlottesville, Va.; a master’s of public administration from the University of South Dakota; and a bachelor’s in political science and history from Southwest State University in Marshall, Minn.
He served as the Operational Law Attorney for Operation Joint Force (Bosnia-Herzegovina) and Brigade Judge Advocate for the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade for Operation Iraqi Freedom, earning a Bronze Star for his service in a combat zone.
His research centers on military law and leadership, environmental policy, persistence behavior, community-based engagement and veteran civic engagement.
In 2019 he was selected for the U.S. Army College Fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin, an honor granted to only a select number of U.S. National Guard applicants.
He is a Sam Walton Fellow for SMSU Entrepreneurial Action Is Us (ENACTUS), a nationally recognized team furthering domestic and international financial literacy, entrepreneurship, recycling and composting, interventions to address K-12 food insecurity, business ethics, and programs designed to reduce recidivism in the penal system.
Col. Simon and his wife, Molly, are the proud parents of Isaac, Emelia, Michael and Marlee.