Major Dave Hensel
Downing Scholar (Class of 2014)
Major Hensel attended the United States Military Academy, graduating in 2001 with a commission as an Infantry officer.
Major Hensel’s assignments include Rifle Platoon Leader, Anti-Tank Platoon Leader, and Company Executive Officer in the 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. Following the Infantry Captain’s Career Course and the Special Forces Qualification Course, Major Hensel was assigned to 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Okinawa, Japan, where he served as a Detachment Commander, Battalion Assistant Operations Officer, and Battalion Operations Officer. After leaving 1st Special Forces Group, Major Hensel was attached to 4th Brigade, 1st Armored Division as a Stability Transition Team Advisor for the brigade’s deployment to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn. Major Hensel has deployed four times to Iraq or Afghanistan and has conducted numerous deployments throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Major Hensel’s military schooling includes the Command and General Staff School, Special Forces Qualification Course, Infantry Captains’ Career Course, Infantry Officer Basic Course, Ranger School, Airborne School, Jumpmaster School, Combat Diver Qualification Course, Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) Level C Course, and the Special Operations Language Course (Tagalog).
Major Hensel’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (with oak leaf cluster), Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (with oak leaf cluster), Army Achievement Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Valorous Unit Award, Combat Infantryman Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, Special Operations Diver Badge, Ranger Tab, Special Forces Tab, Royal Thai Army Parachutist Badge, Republic of Korea Army Parachutist Badge, and Singaporean Armed Forces Parachutist Badge.