University of Wisconsin-Stout student Grant Kjellberg is a police officer, volunteer firefighter and soldier.
Kjellberg, a senior majoring in criminal justice and rehabilitation, works part-time for University Police. He started this fall after working two years as a student community service officer helping with parking enforcement and security at night and after graduating from Chippewa Valley Technical College’s Police Academy.
His brother, Ethan, a sophomore majoring in criminal justice and rehabilitation, is a community service officer this year at the department.
This month, Kjellberg, of Eau Claire, a specialist and mechanic with the Wisconsin Army National Guard, is deploying for a year to the Middle East. He is one of about 150 soldiers from the 829th Engineer Company, based in Spooner with a detachment in Ashland, who have mobilized as a construction unit in support of an engineer battalion from Indiana.
At least 14 other UW-Stout students also are deploying.
This is Kjellberg’s first deployment. He is one of five Elk Mound High School graduates who are being deployed. They were recognized recently at an Elk Mound football game.
“It’s exciting,” Kjellberg said. “I’m nervous. It will be a good experience, and I will get the chance to serve my country. That is what I signed up for the Guard for.”
Kjellberg joined the Guard when he was 17 and still a student at Elk Mound.
He also became a volunteer firefighter in the town of Wheaton in January 2017.
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Firefighters, police officers and military personnel all serve others, Kjellberg said. “I gravitate toward them because of the brotherhood and sisterhood they have,” he noted. “You can trust them because they have been there, and they will be there.”
UW-Stout Police Chief Jason Spetz said Kjellberg’s service as an officer, soldier and firefighter show his passion and dedication to public service.
“Grant is very detail-oriented and dependable,” Spetz said. “He is level-headed. His decision-making skills are good. He really meets all the traits we want to see in a police officer. Overall, he is someone we can trust to do the job and do it with the integrity we would expect from a police officer.”
Kjellberg started at UW-Stout in January 2017 after completing his basic Guard training and advanced individual training. “I have always wanted to be a police officer,” he said. “UW-Stout was close to my hometown and affordable, and I heard it offered a good education. So far I haven’t been let down.”
Once he returns from the Middle East, Kjellberg plans to finish his education and would enjoy staying in the area and working at UW-Stout as an officer. “I like the area,” he said. “I like the people I work with. It’s really a different experience working on a campus than working in a big city.”
He also plans to marry eventually. Kjellberg recently became engaged to Brianna Amundson, also an Elk Mound graduate, who is a nursing student at Chippewa Valley Technical College.
UW-Stout has a Military and Veteran Resource Center. Veterans support includes a Veteran Services Office, Council on Veteran Services, UW-Stout Veterans Club, SVA, and a designated veterans relations senator in the Stout Student Association.
In addition, UW-Stout has a full-time military benefits education coordinator, Sarah Godsave, an Army veteran who works directly with active military and veterans on campus.
UW-Stout is Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University, with a focus on applied learning, collaboration with business and industry, and career outcomes.