Lieutenant Colonel D.S. “Rawhide” Rolen grew up in Canyon, Texas. After graduating high school in 1989, he reported to MCRD San Diego, CA for Marine Corps Recruit Training. He served as a reserve Marine with Charlie Company, 4th Tank Battalion in Amarillo TX while attending West Texas A & M University. While enlisted he trained as a Supply Specialist (3043), Tank Crewman (1812), and Antitank Missile Gunner (0352). In 1990, he was mobilized and served on active duty in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm.
In 1993, Corporal Rolen graduated with a BBA in Management/Marketing and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant under the Platoon Leaders Class Program.
In October 1994, Second Lieutenant Rolen attended The Basic School (TBS) in Quantico, Virginia. Following TBS, he reported to Marine Aviation Training Support Group (MATSG), Pensacola FL where, due to a long delay in the training cycle, he was hand selected to serve as Protocol Officer for Headquarters USCENTCOM in Tampa, Florida.
Upon returning from duty with USCENTCOM, he completed flight training and received his Wings of Gold in May 1998. He then reported to Fleet Replacement Squadron in New River, North Carolina for training in the CH-46E Sea Knight. From August 1998 to October 2001, Captain Rolen was assigned to HMM-268 and served as Embarkation and Logistics Officer. He deployed with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) in 2001.
Upon return from deployment, Capt Rolen attended Aviation Safety Officers Course at Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey CA and was assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 39 as the Group Safety Officer. In 2003, he became Director of Safety and Standardization for Marine Corps Airstation, Camp Pendleton, CA while flying the UC-12B, Super KingAir. In May 2004, Major Rolen left the Marine Corps and moved to Texas.
In 2011, Major Rolen applied for reappointment and was joined to the Marine Corps Reserves where he immediately began working as the Operations Training Officer for Marine Aircraft Group 41 at NAS JRB Fort Worth, Texas. Within 5 months, Major Rolen volunteered to mobilize in support of Marine Air Control Squadron 24 for one year. In late 2012, he joined Readiness Support Program 5 (RSP-5) where he served as Site Officer in Charge and Operations Officer.
In October 2014, Major Rolen mobilized to serve as Secretary of Joint Staff for Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa in Djibouti, Africa. In June 2015, he returned to Texas and rejoined RSP-5 as the Regional Officer in Charge.
His personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2nd Award), Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal (2nd Award), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, Humanitarian Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, and Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with “M” device and numeral “2”).
LtCol Rolen is a first degree black belt in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program.