Lt. Col. Rossander chosen as Court of Honor’s Veterans Day guest speaker


 Harry Rossander will be the guest speaker at this year’s annual Court of Honor Veterans Day program beginning at 10:30 a.m., on Thursday, Nov. 11, in Red Oak High School’s gymnasium. The event is open to the public. 

Rossander, who has served as the Montgomery County Veterans Service Officer since January 2020, has quite an impressive military career. 

Lieutenant Colonel Rossander, United States Army, retired, was born in Sioux City in 1958. His father, Robert Rossander, was an Air Force Sergeant and a native of Montgomery County, as was his mother, Letha (Negly) Rossander. 

Due to his father’s career in the military, Harry attended six elementary schools and three high schools and graduated from Stevens High School in Rapid City, S.D. in 1976. He continued his education and graduated from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSM&T) in Rapid City, S.D., with a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering in May 1981. Harry was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers on the same day he graduated college. 

“Since I was in second grade, I wanted to be a civil engineer and a two star general. I have two degrees in civil engineering and I made it as high as Lieutenant Colonel,” said Harry. 

Throughout his military career, Rossander was assigned to multiple posts such as: Fort Belvoir, Va., Fort Knox, Ky., Fort Carson, Colo., Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; where he served as a Company Commander, a Battalion Executive Officer; and the Aide de Camp to the Commanding General; Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., where he received his Mastersof Science degree in Civil Engineering; Riyadh and Dharan, Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm; Fort Leavenworth, Kan.; where he attended and graduated from the Army’s Command and General Staff College Fort Riley, Kan.; where he served as a Brigade level Adjutant and Operations Officer; Canberra, Australian Capital Territory as an exchange officer with the Australian Defence Force; and Camp Dodge, Iowa; as the Inspector General for the Iowa National Guard. 

Rossander retired from the Regular Army on Sept. 1, 2005, at Camp Dodge in Johnston, after a military career spanning more than 24 years. 

“I was blessed to serve in the military during a transitional time. For example, when I became an officer, we wore starched green fatigues with highly polished combat boots. By the time I retired, we were wearing either battle dress uniforms with highly shined boots or desert camouflage with suede boots,” Harris commented. “Now the everyday uniform is much more wash and wear and the boots significantly improved.” 

Additionally, Harry said when he joined the military in 1981, service overseas was typically a two to three year assignment to Europe or a one-year assignment to Korea. By the time he retired in 2005, those assignments often included one to two deployments overseas to combat areas within each period of unit assignment. 

“During one of my assignments to Fort Leonard Wood, I was a company commander for an Engineer One Station Unit Training Company. We trained young men for basic training and then advanced individual training to be combat engineer soldiers. That assignment more than any other really brought home the importance of what we did as trainers, but more importantly how much military service can impact the life of a young person,” Harry recalled. 

He continued to say he has been richly blessed by his association with the military both as a dependent, then a soldier, and now as a veteran. 

“I have experienced the loss of friends and associates in uniform. I have watched the nation learn a painful lesson, that soldiers fight and die in conflicts, battles and war, not because they wanted to go, but because they were ordered to fight by political leaders, many of whom never served in uniform nor did many of the politicians truly understand the consequences of their actions. That being said, there were certainly times when our military should have and was used to defend our county and the cause of freedom against tyranny and outright attack on our citizens.” 

After his military retirement, Rossander accepted a position as the Bureau Chief with the Iowa Department of Human Services, Bureau of Policy Coordination in May 2007. His Bureau was responsible for the Department’s Appeals and Exceptions to Policy, Administrative Rules management, forms and employee manual development and management. He retired from that position in May 2019.

Harry and his wife, Vicky, a retired high school educator, have a son, Jared Schoepp, who resides in Oregon. 

In his downtime, Harry likes to camp, travel and read. 




The Red Oak Express

2012 Commerce Drive
P.O. Box 377
Red Oak, IA 51566
Phone: 712-623-2566 Fax: 712-623-2568

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