Director, Veterans Resource Office
Andy Allen is a retired United States Army Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) who served as Deputy Director of Intelligence of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Training Mission-Afghanistan, supporting Afghanistan National Security Forces’ efforts to protect and secure national elections. After a 26-year active-duty Army career, he now serves as Director of Utah State University’s Veterans Resource Office (VRO) since July 2022.
Andy began his career as a Private and rose through the ranks to Sergeant, spending most of his enlisted years at the Presidio of Monterey, CA where he graduated as a Russian Linguist and at Fort Hood, TX as part of a cohort Intelligence Company. He then transitioned to the officer ranks, graduating as the Distinguished Military Graduate (DMG) from Officer Candidate School, Fort Benning, GA.
Andy served in such assignments as Counterintelligence (CI) Officer, 902d Military Intelligence (MI) Group, Commander, D Company, 229th MI Battalion, and Assistant Brigade Intelligence Officer for 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) where he provided vital intelligence in support of combat operations and the first elections in a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq. He later served as the senior Intelligence Officer for 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (SBCT), Executive Officer of the 109th MI Battalion, 201st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, I Corps, both at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), WA, and Plans Officer, CI and Human Intelligence Operations Support Branch J2/SJ-X, U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), Offutt Air Force Base, NE. Andy completed his career with NATO during combat operations in Afghanistan and finally as the Senior Intelligence Planner with I Corps G2, JBLM, WA.
Andy is married to Cathi Allen who also works at USU. He enjoys reading, movies, and playing pickleball.
School Certifying Official (SCO)
Rebecca Tyler is USU’s senior School Certifying Official (SCO), entering her third year with the Veterans Resource Office. She works remotely from Indiana with her fiancé and daughter.
She is trained to certify military affiliated students using the GI Bill or VA Benefits such as Post 9-11, Montgomery, Dependent Education Assistance, Yellow Ribbon, and Veteran Readiness & Employment. She helps students through the process from beginning to end to get their benefits. She also assists with National Guard Waivers, Purple Heart Waivers and any other VA benefits that help with tuition. She is a work site supervisor for our work study program and helps resolve any student or institution debt with the VA.
Rebecca earned her undergraduate degree in Business Management and a master’s in Coaching & Athletic Administration. She was a collegiate basketball coach for 11 years and enjoys watching sports, movies, spending time with family and playing games.
School Certifying Official (SCO)
Paul Klimack is a 22-year Army Veteran. He entered the Military in 1999 and was an Artilleryman for two years. In 2001, he accepted a Recruiting and Retention Position with the Utah Army National Guard (UTARNG) and continued that path for 20 years. Recruiting was his true calling. He received Top Recruiter for Utah four times and Top Recruiter for the Western United States once. He retired in 2022 achieving the rank of Master Sergeant (MSG).
Throughout his military career, the well-being of his Soldiers was paramount. Regardless of how busy he was, MSG Klimack always took time to talk to his Soldiers to ensure their safety and to see if they had any issues or problems that needed his attention. That work ethic continued after retirement when Paul was hired at Utah State University’s (USU) Veterans Resource Office (VRO) as a School Certifying Official (SCO). He remains dedicated to ensuring each veteran, service member, and veteran dependent receives all the GI Bill benefits they are entitled to and helping them navigate the sometimes-confusing world of academia to attain their degrees. As a SCO, Paul is trained in every facet of VA educational benefits’ certification.
Paul enjoys hiking, hockey and bird watching as well as working in his garden. He is also a WWII buff and likes to read every book and watch every documentary that deals with that subject.
Vital Program Coordinator /
Lead VA Peer Mentor
Melissa Duce is a Utah native who has lived in the Cache Valley most of her life. After a 20+ year career in pharmacy’ including holding the position of Pharmacy Director over six pharmacies, she decided to change careers and found the Veterans Resource Office (VRO) at USU.
Implementing the skills she honed in pharmacy, including managing, courage, teamwork, and dedication to those she serves, Melissa serves as both the Program Coordinator and Lead VA Peer Mentor for the VITAL program – a program designed to reach out to student veterans to help them meet their needs and maximize their potential. She is passionate about serving the men and women who served our country, and their families, with the goal of helping each one be successful at Utah State University.
She enjoys spending time with her 3 children and soaking up the sun whenever possible.
Christopher Whiddon, a former Staff Sergeant in the United States Air Force. During his eight-year military career, he initially specialized in Security Forces at Malmstrom Air Force Base, he meticulously planned and executed security measures for Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. Transitioning roles in his last two years, he became a CV-22 Osprey Crew Chief, deploying to Afghanistan and contributing to critical missions.
Currently a senior at Utah State University, Christopher is studying Information Systems with a focus on Data Engineering and a minor in Data Analytics. Beyond academia, he embraces a diverse range of interests, from golf and snowboarding to a deep passion for most sports and grilling.
He serves as the VRO’s Office Manager, assisting all military affiliated students with their day-to-day needs and overseeing every aspect of the VRO’s important mission.