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Lunch & Learn with COL John Fenzel, USA Retired


On July 18, Magellan hosted a Lunch & Learn with COL John Fenzel, USA Retired, Senior Army Special Forces officer who has served on our nation’s battlefields throughout Europe and the Middle East.

He has served as a military assistant on the personal staff of the Secretary of Defense, as a Special Assistant to the Vice President, and as a White House Fellow during the Clinton and Bush administrations. He has commanded the Special Forces Training Battalion at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and an Army brigade at Fort Knox, Kentucky.  In the wake of the September 11th attacks, he served as Staff Director for Tom Ridge in the Homeland Security Council. He was the principal architect of The Homeland Security Advisory System, our nation’s color-coded alert system. 

During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, he commanded a Special Forces “A-Team,” training, equipping and advising a Kuwaiti Battalion and accompanying them during the liberation of Kuwait. He has commanded three Special Forces companies, leading the first Army deployments to Pakistan and the Baltic States. In Bosnia, he commanded the special operations teams in the U.S. and British sectors, working closely with the United Nations to secure the indictments and convictions of those responsible for war crimes in Srebrenica.   He is the only active duty American military officer to testify at The Hague in support of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

John is a graduate of the Naval War College and the National War College. Born in Iowa and raised outside Chicago, John lives with his wife and three children in Washington, D.C.

During the Lunch & Learn Program, COL Fenzel shared his thoughts on what makes a good leader, how to develop a strong team and the importance of storytelling. Thank you, COL Fenzel! We’re excited to enjoy more stories while reading your novel, The Fifth Column.