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Robert Rauenhorst Receives Distinguished Alumni Award

Rauenhorst one of eight 2015 alumni award winners.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 5-20-2015

Mankato, Minn. – Col. Robert Rauenhorst, who grew up in Easton, Minn., and currently resides in Jacksonville, N.C., recently received the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Rauenhorst, a career officer in the United States Marine Corps who currently commands a squadron in Jacksonville, N.C., is one of eight 2015 alumni award winners. He was honored at an April 24 ceremony hosted by the Minnesota State Mankato Alumni Association.

Alumni Achievement Awards go to graduates who have achieved high rank or honor in their professions and have had a major impact on their communities.

Rauenhorst joined the U.S. Marine Corps after high school. He returned to Minnesota as a recruiter’s aide, reported to a Marine unit in Minneapolis as an active reservist, and decided to attend Minnesota State Mankato, graduating in 1989 and majoring in geography.

Rauenhorst has served in the Marines for more than 30 years and has earned numerous military awards and honors. He is currently the commanding officer for the Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 22 (VMX-22) at Marine Corps Air Station New River in Jacksonville, N.C.

Among the many military schools Rauenhorst has attended are the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, from which he earned a master’s degree in Military Studies; and the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, where he graduated with a master’s degree in Strategic Studies. In 2010, he received the Marine Corps Tailhooker of the Year award from the Tailhook Association and was promoted to his present rank of Colonel.

After assuming his current command assignment in June 2014, he led his squadron, the “Argonauts,” to a deployment as the Aviation Combat Element (ACE) in direct support of special taskforce onboard USS AMERICA. The team inserted Marines and Sailors for security missions in Colombia, Brazil, Chile, and Peru; as well as airlifted U.S. Ambassadors and other dignitaries’ teams from Uruguay and El Salvador.

Rauenhorst has flown more than 3,100 hours, with more than 2,700 in the F/A-18, including a two-year exchange posting in Australia. His personal decorations include the Joint Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Air Force Aerial Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
He and his wife, Annette, currently live in Jacksonville, N.C. and have three children.

Those who want more information about the April 24 awards event may go to or call 507-389-3235.
Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,376 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions. 

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