Military Fellows

Name

Phone

Email

CDR Ryan J. Bernacchi (USN) (617) 258-7363 ryanbern@mit.edu
COL John Henderson (USA) (617) 258-9440 jwhender@mit.edu
LTCol Eric Thompson (USMC) (617) 258-7363 ethompso@mit.edu
COL Glenn Voelz (USA) (617) 253-8724 gjvoelz@mit.edu
LtCol Stephane Wolfgeher (USAF) (617) 258-9440 swolfgeh@mit.edu
Military fellows 2014-15

(Back row: Stephane Wolfgeher, John Henderson, Ryan Bernacchi. Front row: Eric Thompson, Glenn Voelz)

Commander Ryan J. Bernacchi, United States Navy
A native of Los Altos, California, Commander Bernacchi has amassed over 3,000 flight hours in Naval aircraft, including the F/A-18 Hornet, Super Hornet, and the F-16A/B(N) Viper. His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Individual Air Medal (with combat V), Strike/Flight Air Medals, Navy Commendation Medals (with combat V), Navy Achievement Medals, and various unit and campaign decorations.

His past assignments include the VFA-113 “Stingers” where he made two deployments aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) flying combat sorties in Operations Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom. In 2003, Commander Bernacchi reported to the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN), and upon graduation, he joined the TOPGUN Staff where he served as an instructor pilot and as the Navy and Marine Corps Subject Matter Expert for GPS Weapons. He has served as a Training Officer and a Department head, as well as Director Fellow for the 30th Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group tasked with the development of advanced operational concepts for the Navy at the Naval War College in Newport, RI. He earned a Masters a Masters Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies at the War College.

Commander Bernacchi returned to Lemoore in 2011, and reported to the VFA-192 “World Famous Golden Dragons” in March 2012 as Executive Officer.  He deployed in August 2012, Operation Enduring Freedom.  He took command of VFA-192 in May 2013.

Colonel John Henderson, United States Army
Colonel Henderson is a native of South Dakota and a graduate of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology with a master’s degree in Civil Engineering. Colonel Henderson most recently served as the Executive Officer to the Commanding General for the U. S. Army’s 1st Corps (America’s Corps) located at Joint Base Lewis McChord, WA.

Previously, Colonel Henderson commanded the 864th Engineer Battalion (Task Force Pacemaker) as the unit deployed to eastern Afghanistan to conduct engineering operations in support of the U. S. Central Command (CENTCOM) Materiel Recovery Element (CMRE) with mission command responsibilities for 960 Soldiers and Airmen from the Active, Reserve, and National Guard components.

Colonel Henderson’s past assignments include serving as a platoon leader, executive officer, and company commander in the 2nd Infantry Division’s Engineer Brigade in South Korea; company commander for “Charlie” Company, 864th Engineer Battalion in Alaska; civil engineer, resident engineer, and deputy commander for the U. S. Army Engineer District in Vicksburg, MS; operations officer for the Baghdad Area Engineer Office, Gulf Region Division in Baghdad, Iraq; battalion operations officer (S3) and later executive officer (XO) for the 25th Infantry Division Special Troops Battalion during Operation Iraqi Freedom 2006-2008; deputy commander for the U. S. Army Engineer District at Honolulu, HI; division chief of staff and deputy commander for the U. S. Army Pacific Ocean Division at Honolulu, HI.

Colonel Henderson’s military education includes graduation from the Joint Combined Warfighters Course, Command and General Staff College, Combined Arms Service Staff School, Engineer Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Air Assault School, and Airborne School. Colonel Henderson is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of South Dakota.

Lieutenant Colonel Eric Thompson, United States Marine Corps
Lieutenant Colonel Thompson was commissioned in June 1996 and upon completion of The Basic School and Infantry Officers Course, he was assigned to the 1st Marine Division where he served as a platoon commander and company executive officer in 2d Battalion, 4th Marines. While with 2/4 and the 31st MEU, Lieutenant Thompson took part in Operation Sudden Storm/Desert Fox.

He served as a platoon commander in 1st Force Reconnaissance Company, and as Officer In Charge of the Basic Reconnaissance Course, Expeditionary Warfare Training Group, Pacific.

In February 2003, he joined Marine Special Operations Command Detachment One (Det 1) to serve as the reconnaissance & assault platoon commander for the Marine Corps’ first unit contribution to United States Special Operations Command. Det 1 deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom II with a Naval Special Warfare Squadron to work under the Combined Joint Special Operations Taskforce—Arabian Peninsula.

In 2005 Captain Thompson reported to 1st Battalion, 3d Marines, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. He served as the weapons company commander and fire support coordinator for a deployment to Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. After the OEF deployment, Major Thompson assumed the role as the battalion’s operations officer and deployed to the Haditha Triad, Al Anbar Province, Iraq. After 1/3’s Iraq deployment, Major Thompson served as battalion executive officer prior to attending the Marine Corps’ Command and Staff College. In 2009 he reported to United States Northern Command for a 3 year joint tour.

Following his tour at USNORTHCOM, Lieutenant Colonel Thompson assumed command of 3d Reconnaissance Battalion, 3d Marine Division, in Okinawa, Japan. He served as Commanding Officer for two years (July 2012-June 2014). During this period elements of 3d Recon Battalion supported dozens of Theater Security Cooperation exercises and multiple 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit deployments. 

Lieutenant Colonel Thompson holds a Masters Degree in Military Studies from Marine Corps University. His personal decorations include 2 Bronze Stars (one with combat distinguishing device), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, 2 Navy Achievement Medals, and the Combat Action Ribbon.  

Colonel Glenn Voelz, United States Army
Colonel Voelz was commissioned as an Infantry officer from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and his early assignments included service as a platoon leader with two separate infantry battalions in Berlin, Germany and Vicenza, Italy. In 1994 he was selected for the Army’s World Class Athlete Program in the sport of Modern Pentathlon, was a member of the U.S. National Team and finished seventh at the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials.

He transferred to Military Intelligence and served two years as a budget and logistics officer, then company commander in a Human Intelligence and Counterintelligence Battalion in the Republic of Korea. From 2001-2004 he was an Assistant Professor of History at West Point and received the faculty’s Excellence in Teaching Award.

In 2005 he was assigned to the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Defense as the senior intelligence advisor with the U.S. Military Training Mission in Riyadh. He then returned to the Pentagon assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff as an Intelligence planning officer supporting the Western Hemisphere and Central Asia divisions of the Joint Staff Plans and Policy Directorate (J5), then subsequently as the Executive Assistant to the Joint Staff Director for Intelligence (J2). In 2008 he was the Deputy Director for Intelligence at the Combined Media Processing Center in Doha, Qatar supporting U.S. Central Command operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, then returned to Washington as Assistant Deputy Director for Intelligence in the National Military Command Center at the Pentagon.

From 2009-2011 he was assigned to the National Security Staff as the Senior Duty Officer in the White House Situation Room, leading an interagency team providing daily support to the President and National Security Staff. Since 2011 he has worked in the Intelligence Directorate of U.S. Army Africa, supervising a division responsible for Intelligence planning, strategy, security assistance, exercises and training activities with African partner nations. During this time he also deployed to Mali as an embedded U.S. advisor to the West African Response Force and assisted in the staff transition to the United Nations mandate Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission.

Colonel Voelz is the author of several recent monographs and professional journal articles in the areas of government acquisition, diplomatic history, and intelligence policy, including Contractors in the Government Workplace (Government Institutes Press, 2009), Images of Enemy and Self in the Age of Jefferson, the Barbary Conflict in Popular Literary Depiction (War and Society Journal, 2009), and Managing the Private Spies: The Use of Commercial Augmentation for Intelligence Operations (Center for Strategic Intelligence Research, 2006). He holds a Bachelors of Science degree from West Point, a Masters of Arts from the University of Virginia, and a Masters of Science in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University in Washington, D.C.

Lieutenant Colonel Stephane L. Wolfgeher, United States Air Force
Prior to the start of her Senior Developmental Education Fellowship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Lieutenant Colonel Stephane L. Wolfgeher commanded the 309th Fighter Squadron at Luke AFB, Arizona. The mission of the 309th Fighter Squadron is to produce the world’s greatest F-16 fighter pilots ready to meet the requirements of the combat air forces and deploy mission-ready warfighters. Her experience spans operations at the theater, major command, and unit levels. She is a senior pilot with more than 2,500 flying hours, and 220 combat hours. 

Lieutenant Commander Wolfgeher was commissioned in May 1995. She has served as both an F-15E ‘Strike Eagle’ Weapon Systems Officer and F-16 ‘Viper’ Pilot in a variety of positions, including scheduling officer, standardization and evaluation liaison officer, plans and mobility chief, training chief, operational instructor and evaluator, major command evaluator, executive officer, replacement training unit instructor, operations support squadron director of operations and squadron commander. Her assignments include an F-15E WSO tour at Seymour Johnson AFB and F-16 assignments at Hill AFB, Utah; Kunsan Air Base, South Korea; and attached to Aviano AB, Italy, during her staff tour as USAFE/A3 standardization and evaluation F-16CG chief pilot.

Colonel Wolfgeher has deployed in support of operations Northern Watch, Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom. She holds MS in Information Operations from the Naval Postgraduate School, a Master of Aeronautical Science, from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and a BS in Computer Science from Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.