Recently promoted from Major to Lieutenant Colonel, United States Air Force, Lt. Col. Derrick R. Wheeldon is Chief, Strategy and Policy Branch, in the Plans Division of the Intelligence Directorate,
United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), MacDill AFB, Fla. USCENTCOM’s missions statement reads: With national and international partners, U.S. Central Command promotes cooperation among nations, responds to crises, and deters or defeats state and nonstate aggression, and supports development and, when necessary, reconstruction in order to establish the conditions for regional security, stability, and prosperity.
Derrick first joined the military in 1988 serving as an Electronic Warfare Signal Intelligence Analyst in the United States Army for six years while attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant before transferring to the University of Texas at San Antonio to attend a two-year ROTC program. Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1996, he has held many assignments around the world, including multiple tours/deployments in the Middle East.
Derrick lived in the Harrisonville area for the first 13 years of his life, attending Harrisonville Schools. He moved to Columbus in 1980, where his father was postmaster. Derrick graduated from Columbus High School in 1985. He attended Labette Community College, in Parsons, then in 1988, entered the Army at Great Bend, where his father was postmaster.
Derrick is the son of Richard and Mary Jane Wheeldon of Archie, Mo.