Colonel Kevin J. Merrill is the Senior Policy Advisor for the Air Force Reserve to the Reserve Forces Policy Board (RFPB), Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C. The Reserve Forces Policy Board serves as an independent adviser to the Secretary of Defense, providing advice and recommendations to the Secretary on strategies, policies, and practices designed to improve and enhance the capabilities, efficiency and effectiveness of the seven Reserve components. In addition to his duties with the RFPB, Colonel Merrill also serves as a Staff Officer for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) National Reserve Forces Committee (NRFC).
Colonel Merrill received his commission from the United States Air Force Academy in 1995. After completing undergraduate pilot training, he was assigned to the 56th Rescue Squadron, Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland. Following his assignment in Iceland, he was assigned to the 41st Rescue Squadron, Moody Air Force Base, Georgia and was then assigned as initial cadre for the newly activated 55th Rescue Squadron, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. In 2005, he left active duty to become an Air Reserve Technician (ART) in the Air Force Reserve’s 305th Rescue Squadron, also located at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Following two years as the Weapons Officer, Colonel Merrill then served as Standardization and Evaluation Staff Officer and the HH-60G Functional Area Manager at one of Air Force Reserve Command’s three Numbered Air Forces – Tenth Air Force, Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas. He returned to the 305th Rescue Squadron as the Director of Operations in 2010 and assumed command in 2012. In 2014, he entered Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) status after being selected as a National Security Fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government followed by a tour at Headquarters Air Force. Colonel Merrill has deployed on several occasions in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, ENDURING FREEDOM, and IRAQI FREEDOM where he flew combat and combat support sorties to include rescue alert, personnel recovery, special operations support, and casualty evacuation missions.
1995 Bachelor of Science in Management, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO
2000 Squadron Officer's School, Maxwell AFB, AL
2000 Master of Business Administration, Regis University, Denver, CO
2002 United States Air Force Weapons Instructor Course, Nellis AFB, NV
2005 Air Command and Staff College (in correspondence)
2008 Air War College (in correspondence)
2011 Reserve Component National Security Course, National Defense University, Ft. McNair, DC
2013 Theater Security Decision Making Course, US Naval War College, Newport, RI
2013 Joint Maritime Operations Course, US Naval War College, Newport, RI
2015 National Security Fellow, JFK School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
2017 NATO Senior Reserve Officer’s Course, NATO School, Oberammergau, Germany
2017 Joint Combined Warfighting School – Hybrid, Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA
2018 NATO Senior Officer Policy Course, NATO School, Oberammergau, Germany
(Current as of Feb 2018)