TOPEKA, Kan. - Col. Norman E. Steen was pinned with one star during a special ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 7, signifying his promotion to brigadier general in the Kansas Army National Guard. The promotion took place at Nickell Armory, Topeka.
With his promotion, Steen assumed command of the Great Plains Joint Regional Training Center in Salina. The training center is the flagship of several proposed centers across the state that will provide training facilities for military and civilian emergency response agencies, including fire, law enforcement, medical, hazardous material and others.
“I am pleased General Steen has agreed to take the reins of the Great Plains Joint Regional Training Center,” said Maj. Gen. Bunting, the adjutant general. “Norman has the extensive command experience needed to handle the management of this training center that will serve the military, public and private sectors.”
Steen has more than 30 years of commissioned military service, receiving his commission as second lieutenant in June 1978. He served with the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry, U.S. Army, from January 1979 to March 1984. During that time, Steen served as rifle platoon leader, weapons platoon leader, assistant battalion personnel officer, anti-armor platoon leader and heavy mortar platoon leader. He became company commander for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry at Fort Riley in October 1982 and was later named Training Management Control System officer at the same post.
Steen joined the Kansas Army National Guard in June 1984 and was assigned as tactical intelligence officer for the 1st Battalion, 635th Armor in Manhattan. He stayed with the battalion through September 1988, serving as personnel officer and logistics officer. He transferred to the 35th Infantry Division, Fort Leavenworth, in October 1988, where he served as aid to the commanding general and secretary to the general staff.
Steen joined the 2nd Battalion, 635th Armor in Salina in July 1990 as executive officer. He was named operations officer for the battalion in February 1991. Steen returned to the 35th Infantry Division in August 1992 as public affairs officer.
Steen became operations officer at Headquarters, State Area Command in September 1995 and was inspector general for the 35th Infantry Division from June 1996 to January 1998. He served as Supply Management officer at Headquarters, State Area Command from January 1998 until he assumed command of 1st battalion, 635th Armor in July of that same year.
In January 2001, Steen became training officer at Headquarters, State Area Command and was named deputy chief of staff, intelligence, at Joint Forces Headquarters Kansas in May 2002. He assumed command of the 235th Regiment, Kansas Regional Training Institute in September 2004.
His awards and decorations include the Legion of merit, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, the Expert Infantryman Badge and Parachutist Badge.
Steen was born in Sioux Falls, S.D., and attended high school in Hills, Minn. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in economics at the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in public administration at Kansas State University. He also earned a master’s degree in strategic studies at the U.S. Army War College.
His military education also includes Airborne Course; Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses; Infantry Mortar Platoon Course; RC Tank Commanders Course; Command and General Staff College; Tactical Commanders Development Course, Brigade level and Armor Pre-command Course. He is currently working on the Advanced Joint Professional Military Education Course.
In his civilian career, Steen is president of Jasper Enterprises, Inc., Woodland Park, Colo. Steen and his wife, Cheryl, live in Woodland Park and have three children.