On April 18, 2013, The Institute of World Politics hosted a promotion ceremony for CPT(P) Aaron Kuykendall as he was promoted to the rank of Major.
Melissa Youssef sang the national anthem, and remarks were made by IWP president John Lenczowski and LTC Michael D. Jason, USA. JoAnn Kuykendall participated in the pinning ceremony.
During the ceremony, MAJ Kuykendall remarked that: "The school is not about making money and shuffling students through just to get degrees. The professors here care about service to our country, and everyone who leaves here is doing so in some unique way."
MAJ Kuykendall began at IWP last spring, and has one semester of classes left before he graduates. His full biography appears below.
Major Aaron J. Kuykendall is a native of Towanda, PA and a 2003 graduate of Shippensburg University, where he was a member of the varsity swim team and received a ROTC commission. His first duty assignment was Fort Lewis, WA where he was assigned to Charlie Company, 1-23 Infantry Regiment as a Mobile Gun System platoon leader and deployed to Mosul, in OIF II. After redeployment, he then took over the executive officer position of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, and again deployed his unit to Mosul, in OIF IV. During this fifteen-month deployment, he transitioned to 2nd Platoon, Charlie Troop 1-14 Cavalry Squadron during OIF V in Baghdad, and remained as a scout platoon leader there until leaving Fort Lewis in 2008.
Major Kuykendall then moved to Fort Stewart, GA and took command of Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3-7 Cavalry Squadron, and deployed his Troop to Mosul, in OIF VII. Halfway into the deployment, he was awarded a second command, taking responsibility of Charlie Company, 1-30 Infantry Regiment in Kirkuk, at the beginning of Operation New Dawn. He remained in command of his tank company until leaving Fort Stewart, GA with thirty-six total months of command time.
Major Kuykendall is a graduate of the Armor Officers Basic Course, the Maneuver Captain's Career Course, the Defense Strategy Course, Command and General Staff Course, and is on track to complete his Masters in Statecraft and National Security Affairs this July. His awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, two Bronze Star Medals, four Army Accommodation Medals, one Army Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Badge. He is married to the former JoAnn Griffin of Albany, GA and Army veteran of OIF II. They have one daughter named Ainsley, and their next duty assignment will be the Army's Central Command located at Shaw Air Force Base, SC.