Student and staff member to lead Veterans Day program

Gordon Musel (right), a Marine Corps veteran and Upper Iowa University history major, will serve as master of ceremonies during the Friday, November 11 Veterans Day program at UIU’s Fayette Campus. Musel is pictured alongside the program’s guest speaker, Chad Cook, a retired U.S. Army reservist and UIU’s director of Military and Veteran Services.

Upper Iowa University cordially invites the public to attend its annual Veterans Day program on Friday, November 11. UIU President William R. Duffy II will provide the welcome address, which is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. in the Student Center ballrooms at UIU’s Fayette Campus.

Fayette American Legion Post 339 will present the colors. Gordon Musel, a UIU history major from Tama, Iowa, will be master of ceremonies for the Nov. 11 program.­ A Marine Corps veteran, who has served in Afghanistan, and is currently an Iowa Army National Guard member, Musel will introduce guest speaker Chad Cook.

“I am both honored and humbled to serve as this year’s keynote speaker,” said Cook, UIU director of military and veteran services. “Upper Iowa University’s military heritage and its ongoing commitment to the total military family and veteran community makes this speaking opportunity and my duties here even more of a privilege.”

A Zearing, Iowa, native, Cook has served the U.S. military for 24 years and in the field of education for 25 years. He originally enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve and served for six years. He then transferred to the Iowa Army National Guard, where after 12 years of service he graduated from Officer Candidate School and commissioned in the Medical Service Corps. While the majority of his military career has been as a traditional Guardsman and Reservist, Cook’s wartime service was in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan from 2004-2005.

Cook’s military honors and awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with OLC, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with 6 OLCs, Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal with Service Star, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Service Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Hour Glass and M Device, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Iowa Meritorious Service Medal, Iowa Commendation Medal, Iowa Leadership Ribbon with Torch, Iowa Service Ribbon with OLC, and  the Combat Medical Badge.

The Iowa Army National Guard retiree is currently in the U.S. Army Retired Reserve. Cook’s civic service has included five years as a city councilman and six years as a County Veterans Affairs Commissioner. He is also a member of the American Legion as well as Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Cook spent the majority of his educational career as a teacher and coach in five rural Iowa school districts. Previously in higher education he has served as an Army ROTC Instructor at Iowa State and Drake Universities, an adjunct instructor for Southwestern Community College and William Penn University, and as the education manager of the Iowa Energy Center at Iowa State University.

Live streaming of the program will be available at

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