Featured Alumni: Laura Clellan

Laura Clellan


Laura Clellan

Laura Clellan

Brigadier General Clellan was commissioned from the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps at Rio Grande College in Ohio, as a Second Lieutenant in the as a Military Police Officer in 1989. Upon commissioning, she served three years on active duty as a Military Police Platoon Leader in the 978th Military Police Company. During her three years on active duty, her unit deployed to Honduras, Desert Storm and Panama. In 1992, she left active duty and became a school teacher teaching middle school science. After being in the Inactive Ready Reserves for three years, she returned to duty as a reservist in the 91st Training Division in Denver, CO where she served as an Observer/Controller Training Officer for one year.

In 1998, she joined the COARNG as the 220th Military Police Company Commander and deployed to Tazar Airbase, Hungary in support of Operation Joint Forge, in the Balkans. Upon returning from Hungary, she began working full time as the Quality Manager for the Commander, COARNG. Her traditional assignments included Commander Headquarters, State Area Command and S1 (Personnel Officer), 89th Troop Command. In 2002, she was chosen to serve as the full-time Assistant Professor of Military Science (APMS) and Executive Officer at CU Boulder ROTC, where she taught leadership and tactics to Army cadets. In 2006, she left the Full Time force of the National Guard and went back to being a traditional Soldier, serving as the Personnel Officer for Special Operations Detachment-Korea, while simultaneously working as a civilian in the Department of Veterans Affairs in Denver, CO.

In 2007, she took command of the 193d Military Police Battalion whose missions included the 2008 Democratic National Convention and Detention Operations in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) 2010-11. Upon return from OEF, she was selected for the Army War College and assigned as the Brigade Executive Officer for the 89th Troop Command. In 2012, COL Clellan was chosen to command the 168th Regimental Training Institute. In 2014, she was selected as the Land Component Commander for the Colorado Army National Guard, overseeing operational readiness of 7 major Commands,~3800 Soldiers. In 2017, she was selected to serve in her current position as the Assistant Adjutant General for the Colorado Army National Guard.

Concurrently in her civilian career, she works as the Chief, Leadership and Employee Development at Region 6, US Fish and Wildlife in Lakewood, Colorado, where she is the lead in the design, development, implementation, management and assessment of conservation leadership and workforce development. She coaches teams and leaders in problem solving, work methods and procedures. She also serves as primary advisor to the Regional Director on training, leadership and organizational development strategies.

Clellan is married to Stephanie Harding. They live in Golden, CO. She enjoys the outdoors, hiking, biking, and snowboarding.

  1. What made you choose to pursue a college education at Rio Grande? I went to a small rural high school, so I wanted to go to a small college. Also, I paid for my first year of college and the cost was very affordable. I ran out of money at the end of my first year, so I walked into the ROTC building inquiring about college assistance and came out with a three year scholarship…AND an eight year commitment to the military.
  2. How were you involved on Rio’s campus? I don’t remember a lot, but I played intramural sports and played on the softball team for four years as the catcher.
  3. What did Rio offer you besides an education? It offered me a chance- I didn’t go to college right after graduation. I worked a year and realized I needed to have an education to get anywhere in life. I wasn’t the most disciplined in high school; my parents were divorced and I was a typical ‘Gen X latchkey kid’. When I went to college, I set my goals and worked hard to achieve them, even without the support of my parents. The smallness of the school allowed for intimate classes, one on ones with professors, and close friendships.
  4. What are some of your favorite Rio memories? Playing softball – double headers every game! Biology classes with Professor “Oz”. Walking through the woods during Ornithology testing our ability to recognize birds by their songs. Late night class studies in the anatomy lab memorizing skeletal parts. ROTC classes- conducting land navigation on the Bob Evans property.
  5. Was there any teacher, advisor, coach, etc. that made an impact on your life? How? We had a coach named Dixie – I can’t remember her last name. I also have fond memories of Dr Osborne- or Oz. He kept me passionate about science and engaged – I later became a teacher.
  6. What did you learn about yourself during college? I learned that leadership came natural to me, whether it be on the softball field or in ROTC. I also learned that I could accomplish difficult tasks- like graduating college studying Biology and Chemistry.
  7. How did Rio prepare you for your career? I think my experiences in ROTC, softball and in my sciences courses led to my current work ethic, reliability and commitment to excellence.
  8. Why are you proud to be a Rio Alumna? It is a small school that had great educators. I am proud to have studied there and had such an intimate college experience.
  9. Do you have any advice for current students? You really can do anything if you set your mind to it and work hard.
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