- Name: David Allen Lien
- Location of Birth: Golden Valley, Minnesota
- Date of Birth: December 21, 1967
- Date of Death:
- Parents: James Allen Lien and Sharon Faith (Boyce) Lien
- High School and Class: 1986 - Grand Rapids Senior High School, Grand Rapids, Minnesota
- College: November, 1998 - Bachelor of Science in Accounting, University of Minnesota-Duluth, Duluth, Minnesota
December, 1994 - Masters of Science in Administration, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
August, 1990 - Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of Minnesota-Duluth, Duluth, Minnesota
University of Minnesota-Duluth Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship recipient, Distinguished Graduate, Award recipient, Commander’s Cup winner, Duluth, Minnesota
- Highest Rank: CAPTAIN
- Branch: Air Force
- Other Branch:
- Date Sworn In: July 18, 1990 (active duty date: May 16, 1991)
- Place Sworn In: University of Minnesota-Duluth, Minnesota (UMD)
- Date of Discharge: May 15, 1995
- Place of Discharge: Grand Forks Air Force Base, Grand Forks, North Dakota
Units and Locations:
Start Date End Date Unit(s) and Location(s) Served May 24, 1991 September 16, 1991 Vandenberg Air Force Base-Combat Crew Training Squadron September 17, 1991 May 15, 1995 Grand Forks Air Force Base-446th Strategic Missile Squadron
- Military Awards:
Air Force Training Ribbon
National Defense Service Medal
Combat Readiness Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
- Military Highlights:
David is a former United States Air Force Missile Launch Officer. He served as a Deputy Missile Combat Crew Commander and Missile Combat Crew Commander at Grand Forks Air Force Base in Grand Forks, North Dakota from September, 1991 to April, 1995.
Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Combat Crew Commanders are directly responsible to the President of the United States and the National Command Authorities for up to fifty nuclear weapons and have Top Secret SIOP-ESI security clearances. They command all activities in a 500 square mile area, including a remote Missile Alert Facility (MAF) manned by eight or more personnel. While assigned to squadron command post duties, Combat Crew Commanders also direct the actions of 4 to 14 other missile crews.The greater Grand Forks Air Force Base region was home to 150 Minutemen III intercontinental ballistic missiles divided up into three squadrons of 50 missiles each, until the late 1990's. The missile squadrons/units there were formally deactivated during 1998.
For each ten intercontinental ballistic missiles, there was an underground Launch Control Center (LCC) where two missile launch officers were on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, ready to launch their missiles in the event of a nuclear conflict. During David's four years of active duty, he spent 266 days (i.e., 24 hour "Alerts") working in these underground Launch Control Centers.
Well before starting his Air Force officer training at the University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD) during the fall of 1986, David joined the Grand Rapids Civil Air Patrol (CAP) squadron in 1980 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. During 1985, he became a cadet commander and rose to the rank of cadet colonel in 1986, the highest rank a Civil Air Patrol cadet can achieve.
During the fall of 1986, David joined he Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) detachment at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where he received a Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship and was commissioned as a second lieutenant on July 18, 1990. During May, 1991, he went active duty, initially reporting for sixteen weeks of Undergraduate Missile Training (UMT) at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
After graduating from Undergraduate Missile Training on September 13, 1991, he was assigned to the 321st Strategic Missile Wing (SMW), 446th Strategic Missile Squadron (SMS) at Grand Forks Air Force Base, serving as a missile launch officer until completing his service commitment during April, 1995.
Listed below are several articles/stories detailing some of his Air Force and post-military experiences in the Association of Air Force Missileers (AAFM) Newsletter:
-"Last Alert.” Association of Air Force Missileers (AAFM) Newsletter: December 2005, p. 3.
-“Silent Sentinels.” Association of Air Force Missileers (AAFM) Newsletter: March 2009, p. 1. (the article continues on p. 5, not p. 2)
-“A Higher Calling.” Association of Air Force Missileers (AAFM) Newsletter: March 2011, p. 4.
The articles below provide some additional insights to the Air Force missile launch officer career field:
-John Morgan. “Missileers guard America's ICBMs.” Casper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune: 4/21/07.
-John Morgan. “New mission for missile base?” Casper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune: 4/21/07.
Note: The last three pictures show three generations of servicemen in the Lien family.
- Wars Involved:
- MIA / POW:
- Civilian Life:
David grew up in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
After completing high school, he was offered an Air Force ROTC scholarship at the University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD) and went on to graduate with a BA in political science and second lieutenant bars. He completed four years of military service as an Air Force missile launch officer while also completing a master’s degree in administration (MSA). After completing his service commitment and second undergraduate degree (Bachelor of Accounting), David accepted another federal job and moved to Colorado.
David served on the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (BHA) National Board of Directors for eight years. He founded and is the former chair of the Minnesota BHA chapter and is co-chair of BHA’s Colorado chapter. He is also a Life Member of both Trout Unlimited (TU) and the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA). In addition, David has climbed all 54 of Colorado’s fourteeners (peaks over 14,000 feet), six of the Seven Summits (the highest peaks on each continent), and has set foot on each of the fifty state highpoints. He has also traveled to forty-two countries and been to all seven continents.
David has contributed stories, articles, essays, letters and photos to numerous periodicals, books and newspapers, including Bugle, American Hunter and Fur-Fish-Game. He has also written six books, including (most recently): Hunting for Experience II: Tales of Hunting and Habitat Conservation, published by Outskirts Press: http://outskirtspress.com/huntforexperience.
In 2014 David was recognized by Field and Stream as a “Hero of Conservation.” Then, during 2019, he received BHA’s Mike Beagle-Chairman’s Award, which is bestowed to an individual who shows outstanding effort on behalf of BHA. The award is named after Beagle, a BHA founder who launched BHA “around an Oregon campfire” in 2004.
“David Lien epitomizes what it means to be a BHA volunteer,” said Land Tawney, BHA President and CEO, who presented the award to Lien. “Not only did he help start the Colorado and Minnesota chapters; he also served eight years on our North American Board. David is a prolific writer well-known and respected for his thoughtful opinion columns. In addition to his grassroots contributions, he put BHA’s logo on his wedding cake. Now that’s commitment! His tenacious yet even-keeled approach to conservation should be an inspiration to all.”
David lives in Colorado Springs with his wife, Melinda, and works as a federal financial institution examiner for the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).
-August 1999 – August 2003: Climbed all 54 of Colorado’s 14,000-plus ft. peaks (the 14ers) in four years and three days. Officially, the 1,068th person to complete the 54 fourteeners.
-May 1996 – Sept. 2007: Climbed all 50 U.S. state highpoints. Officially, the 167th person to complete the 50 state highpoints.
-July 2003 – February 2007: Climbed/attempted all of the Seven Summits (the highest points on each continent), and was successful on his first attempts for each summit, with the exception of Mount Everest: Mount Kilimanjaro (19,340 ft.-7/2/03) in Africa, Aconcagua (22,835 ft.-1/27/04) in Argentina, Mount McKinley (20,320 ft.-7/2/04) in Alaska, Mount Vinson (16,067 ft.-1/12/05) in Antarctica, Mount Elbrus (18,510 ft.-7/19/05) in Russia, Mount Everest (29,035 ft.-April/May 2006) in Asia, and Mount Kosciuszko (7,310 ft.-2/20/07) in Australia.
-Televised (ICTV) Grand Rapids, Minn., Area Library Program presentations: ICTV presentations (Mediacom Cable System Channel 2 and Paul Bunyan’s Cable System Channel 32) recorded and televised in northern Minnesota:
“From the Northwoods to Mount Everest,” 11/21/06;
“Climbing the Seven Summits,” 4/25/07;
“America’s Wildest National Parks,” 7/2/09;
“Climbing Mount McKinley,” 12/29/09;
“Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro/Africa’s Wildest National Parks,” 7/6/10;
“Four Years and Forty-Four Fourteeners,” 6/30/11;
“Exploring and Rafting The Grand Canyon,” 12/27/12;
“Adventures in Costa Rica,” 12/27/13.
-Published Books: --4/44/14 I (Four Years and Forty-Four Fourteeners): First Fourteeners. Published by Outskirts Press in December 2010: http://outskirtspress.com/44414/
--4/44/14 II (Four Years and Forty-Four Fourteeners): Nemesis. Published by Outskirts Press in December 2011: http://outskirtspress.com/44414_II.
--Age-Old Quests: Hunting, Climbing and Trekking. Published by Outskirts Press in December 2012: http://outskirtspress.com/ageoldquests/
--Age-Old Quests II: Hunting, Climbing and Trekking. Published by Outskirts Press in January 2014: http://outskirtspress.com/AgeOldQuestsII/
--Hunting for Experience: Tales of Hunting and Habitat Conservation. Published by Outskirts Press (in December 2014): http://outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478744108.
--Hunting for Experience II: Tales of Hunting and Habitat Conservation. Published by Outskirts Press (in December 2015): http://outskirtspress.com/huntforexperience
Credit Union Examiner/Principal Examiner, January 1999 – Present National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) – Western Region, Colorado Springs, Colorado
• Consumer Compliance Subject Matter Examiner, included completing Fair Lending examinations (October 2004 – January 2011).
• Capital Markets Subject Matter Examiner (January 2011 – Present).
• On-the-Job Trainer (2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017).
NCUA Performance Ratings (“Highly Successful” or “Exceptional”), 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019.
NCUA Awards, Region 5 Examiner of the Year (2003), Group B (Colorado) Best Examination of the Year (2003), Group J (Colorado) Best Examination of the Year (2007), Special Act and/or Time Off Awards (2003, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014), Superior Performer Award (2005), On-the-Spot Awards (2004, 2005, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019). Examiner-in-charge for “Success Story” credit union showcased in videos at the NCUA’s 2012 National Conference and currently used for/in the NCUA’s STEP training.
- Tribal Affiliation(s):