Steve Watkins, COL, USA (Ret)
Steve received his commission from the Army ROTC program at the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 1986. He went on to complete Initial Entry Rotary Wing training and the AH-1 aircraft transition course in 1988. Steve then served in various Attack and Lift Battalion unit level positions from Platoon Leader through Battalion Commander in the Wisconsin National Guard, with a number of overseas assignments from Central America to the Middle East. Steve was also a full-time National Guard Soldier and held the Supervisory Instructor Pilot and Army Aviation Support Facility Commander positions in one of Wisconsin’s Aviation Flight Facilities. He was the first Lieutenant Colonel in the Army to compete the UH-60M Instructor Pilot course shortly after the UH-60M’s were fielded to the Army. During his 31-year aviation career, Steve flew the UH-1H, AH-1S/F, OH-58A/C, UH-60 A/L/M, C-12 and C-26. He is also a qualified Aviation and Ground Safety Officer. Steve retired from the Deputy Chief of Staff – Aviation and Safety position in the Wisconsin Army National Guard in 2017 at the rank of Colonel and immediately made the move to Western North Carolina. He now lives with his wife Jennifer and their three Golden Retrievers in Hendersonville, NC.