Chris Charveron ’79 counts himself lucky to have been able to pursue his dream of serving his nation in the military while making a living as an engineer. The lieutenant colonel recently returned to his Decatur hometown and visited his favorite professor, Dr. William L. Williams ’55, Tabor School of Business professor emeritus.
“I graduated from Millikin University in 1979 with an industrial engineering degree, and I was what you might call a ‘non-traditional student’ as most of my seven years on campus involved working midnight shifts at Decatur’s Firestone plant and taking college courses whenever I could fit them in,” he says. Charveron worked at Firestone from July 1972 until his retirement in July 2006. In 1983, while still at Firestone, he enlisted in the Illinois National Guard as an infantry scout. Approximately 23 of his 34 years with Firestone were also with the Illinois National Guard and for nine of those years he had active duty status.
Currently, Charveron serves as the bilateral affairs officer in the Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC) at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, Poland, a post he has held since June 2001. The majority of ODC activity is associated with foreign military sales and financing, which is how many countries purchase U.S. military equipment and training.
For his work in Poland, Charveron was awarded the Polish Armed Forces Bronze Medal by Lieutenant General Waldemar Skrzypczak, commander of the Polish Land Forces. The presentation ceremony, held early this year, took place in the Land Forces Headquarters Museum located in Poland’s Citadel and recognized Charveron’s “exceptionally meritorious services provided to the Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland.”
What’s next for this traveling military man?
Charveron says, “My six-year tour in Warsaw ends this July, and so far the Army has whittled down my next assignment to somewhere in one of four continents!”
The complete article appeared in the winter Spring 2007 issue of Millikin Quarterly magazine.