Det 595 Hosts Wolfpack Alumni Colonel Ellen

Colonel John Ellen came to visit his old detachment on 14 February, 2018 to talk about his experience in the Air Force and his advice for our future officers. Originally from Winston Salem, Colonel Ellen went to NC State, where he graduated from the College of Engineering in 1967. He shared his favorite memories as a cadet, the importance of family in his life, and tips on officership.


Col Ellen’s best memories from NCSU still relate to cadets in the detachment today. Times were different when he was in school but he was proud to see his old detachment still going strong. Col Ellen was on the rifle drill team with 500 other cadets on campus, where the land grant campus of NC State was used to educate and commission officers for the military.


He served in the U.S. Air Force for 50 years, spending 30 years on active duty and working his way up the ranks in the missiles career field. The colonel’s wife, Robbie, addressed the cadets on their exceptionally successful family life during active duty.


Col Ellen’s main point for commissioning cadets was to take care of your people, take care of yourself and that “service to humanity is the best work of life.”