Hometown

Rosales earns promotion of Colonel during Lockhart ceremony

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By Kyle Mooty

LPR Editor

In a rare hometown ceremony for such an event, Andrea M. Rosales was promoted to the rank of Colonel in the United States Army on Sunday afternoon during festivities at the Caldwell County Courthouse.

COL Rosales and her husband, Jason Rosales, currently reside in Burke, Virginia, but they are 1998 graduates of Lockhart High School. In fact, the couple met while working at Lockhart’s H-E-B during high school. Soon after meeting, a fire burned destroyed H-E-B in December 1996. The original store did not survive, but they have. She is currently employed at Fort Meade, Maryland. Jason retired as a sergeant first class (SFC) in 2018 from the Army after serving for 20 years.

A crowd of about 55 turned out for COL Rosales’ promotion ceremony, including friends, family, city leaders, and Retired Army COL (Ret.) David W. Trotter, who gave details of why Rosales earned the promotion privilege.

Retired and living in Leavenworth, Kansas, COL Trotter had high praise for COL Rosales.

“This is exciting,” COL Trotter said. “Thanks to the town for doing this. We rarely get to do a military ceremony in that person’s hometown. Usually, we do it at their military installation. Generally, we have a couple of colleagues there and maybe a family member of two. To do it here where we are surrounded by people who have loved Andrea and supported Andrea throughout her life and her career is just exceptional.

“This is a big deal. This promotion is really a huge thing. It’s really, really difficult for people in the United States Army to make colonel.”

Lockhart Mayor Pro Tem Angie Sanchez Gonzales, who was joined by Lockhart Mayor Lew White and Councilmembers Juan Mendoza and John Castillo, proclaimed Dec.18, 2022 as COL Andrea Rosales Day in Lockhart.

Rosales was promoted to the full rank of Colonel on Dec. 1, 2022.

“Thank you to all the people who helped make this happen today,” COL Rosales told the crowd of about 55.

Jason Rosales said many of those on hand had traveled a considerable distance to get to Lockhart.

In looking for a Colonel, Trotter said the Army looks at performance, potential, and character.

“Character is really important in an officer, and that’s her character. Andrea has got some phenomenal character. They’re values that you learn in life, like integrity, like compassion, how to be a team player. Those kind of things have made Andrea extremely successful.”

COL Trotter then noted that Rosales’ parents, Andy and Nora Govea, had instilled great traits in their daughter.

“Andrea is a superior performer in the United States Army,” COL Trotter said. “It’s every single day of the week, every week, every month, and every year. She’s done that consistently for over 20 years.”

In her proclamation, Gonzales-Sanchez noted that COL Rosales was Commissioned from Army Reserves Officer Training Corp’s ROTC program at Texas A&M University upon graduation 2002. She held many leadership positions and many ranks and was deployed four times in support of Iraqi Freedom. She has served in units at Fort Hood, Texas, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Camp HM Smith, Hawaii, Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, Fort Knox, Kentucky, and Fort Meade, Maryland. She has earned two graduate degrees while serving: a Master’s of Science and Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University in Washington D.C., and a Master’s of Arts and National Security Strategy from National War College from the School of National Defense University.

COL Rosales is preparing to take her aid command in the summer of 2023. She and Jason have a 6-year-old son, Xavier.

“The War College is just that,” COL Trotter said. “It’s where we select a senior leader to learn how to wage and conduct war. We teach those officers how to defend this great country of ours. We only select the very best.

“Of all the officers that Andrea began with, only 1 percent will become colonels. Only 15 colonels will be selected to command at the colonel level. What Andrea has achieved is significant. That takes a lot of work.”

COL Trotter said COL Rosales had come into the Army during a time of war when the U.S. was fighting Al Quida, the Taliban, and Afghanistan.

“She comes in anyway,” COL Trotter said. “That’s personal courage. My personal message to Andrea: I want to tell her thank you. Thank you for being an exceptional friend.  Thank you for being a wonderful person. Thank you for being a phenomenal leader in our Army. I am convinced we are a better Army because of you.”

COL Rosales said getting to where she is today was “a bit of an accident.”

She had received an Air Force scholarship in high school but said she didn’t feel like she could commit to four years of service after college when she was only 18. She wasn’t interested in the Navy either because she would get seasick. She went one night with the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets, staying with the Aggie band, some of whom came to Sunday’s ceremony.

“The Army was going to teach me to shoot guns and jump off of things, so I thought that was a fair enough proposition,” COL Rosales said. “Fast forward a few years, I decided I didn’t want to be a doctor, I wanted to be a teacher. So, I signed a contract with the Army Reserves. I was supposed to be a military policewoman. After two years I went in to see my advisor. He said, ‘Hey, are you ready to start your student teaching?’ I said, ‘Sure. How much does that pay?’ He said, ‘Nothing.’ So, I didn’t think that was a good idea, so I switched my reserves contract to active duty for three years.

“My husband was on the lawn of the Pentagon during 9/11. So, I got to witness first-hand what that looked like. It really didn’t hit me what I was entering until I went to Fort Hood, Texas. My family got to see me off to what ended up being the invasion of Iraq.”

After the ceremony, a reception was held for COL Rosales at Lilly’s Bar & Grill.

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