Bio:Royal P. Mortenson has served as the Director for the Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI) since September 2012. Royal sets direction for all activities of the institute including delivery of all training and education, curriculum design and development, personnel, budget and finances, facilities and support, and strategic planning, among other duties. Royal is also a sitting member of the Illinois Terrorism Task Force (ITTF) supporting the Director of IEMA and the all-hazard state-wide disaster response capability. He also represents the Illinois fire service, the University of Illinois, and IFSI in Springfield and Washington, D.C.
Prior to assuming his current position, served in the U.S. Marine Corps for more than 29 years and is a retired Colonel. He had a long and distinguished leadership career that included command at every level from lieutenant to colonel, including infantry company and infantry battalion command, colonel command, as well as Director of the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. He has extensive hands-on experience in development and implementation of high risk training and education, leadership development, real-world operations and planning from the tactical to strategic level, and leading and managing large diverse and demanding organizations ranging in size from 40-2000 personnel.
Additionally, he has held critical and noteworthy staff positions that include; Chief of Staff for the Commanding General Marine Corps Combat Development Command in Quantico, which oversees all research, development and education for the Marine Corps, Central Asia/South Asia Division Chief for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Joint Staff, where he led the Afghanistan/Pakistan strategic plans development for the Chairman. Prior to this assignment, he was the Commanding Officer of The Basic School, which is the entry officer training program for all U.S. Marine Corps officers.
In December 2001, Colonel Mortenson assumed command of the 2nd battalion, 8th Marine Regiment. During his command tour, the battalion deployed to Iraq and participated in combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003). Colonel Mortenson’s personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with two gold stars in lieu of third award, the Bronze Star with Valor Distinguishing devise, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon.
Colonel Mortenson studies include National War College (2004-05), National Defense University, in Washington DC where he earned a Masters Degree in Strategic Studies; Marine Corps Command and Staff College and the School of Advanced Warfighting (1998-2000) earning a Masters Degree in Military Studies and the Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School (1990-91). Colonel Mortenson also holds a Bachelor's in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.