(GCDW file photo)
Col. Alan M. Pratt will serve as grand marshal for the 107th Annual Linton Freedom Festival Parade on July 4.
"It is an honor to serve as the grand marshal of this event. I never cease to be amazed at the pride Hoosiers take in supporting our country. Events like this, while serving to show people a good time, also make a statement about how our local communities support preserving our nation's freedom and those who serve to protect it," Pratt said.
Pratt took command of Crane NSWC on Oct. 6, 2011 as Capt. Charles S. LaSota retired from 35 years with the Navy.
Pratt is a decorated Marine with a Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with three Gold Stars, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with three Gold Stars, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various unit and foreign awards.
A 1984 graduate of the University of Michigan, Col. Pratt was commissioned as Second Lieutenant through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps.
He then attended the Basic School and Air Support Control Officers Course, and reported to Marine Air Support Squadron 1, Marine Air Control Group 28, second Marine Aircraft Wing, MCAS Cherry Point, N.C. in April 1985. He served as an Air Support Control Officer, and was assigned to various Squadron living quarters.
Pratt also served as Officer in Charge of the Direct Air Support Center Detachment for the 26th Marine Amphibious Unit from August 1986 to August 1987.
Pratt's career continued with a transfer to Marine Air Control Group 28 in November 1988, and in June 1989 he was assigned as Aide-de-camp for the Commanding General, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing in California.
He was trained as a Remotely Piloted Vehicle Internal Pilot and Mission Commander, and participated with the Company in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
He served as the Assistant Operations Officer when he returned to Cherry Point in 1993, where he completed the Weapons and Tactics Instructors Course.
He served as Marine Air Control Group 28 Detachment Commander to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, participated in Operations Deny Flight and Joint Endeavor, then served as Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron 48's Executive Officer for three years in For Sheridan, Ill.
Pratt returned to Headquarters Marine Corps in Washington, D.C. in July 1999 to serve as Aviation Command and Control Branch of the Aviation Department, then transferred to the Second Marine Aircraft Wing in July 2001.
He participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom as Commanding Officer of Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron 28, then served as Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Coordinator at the Headquarters Marine Corps.
Between 2004 and 2008 Pratt served in Quantico, Va., and Camp Pendleton, Calif.
As commanding officer of Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity at Camp Pendleton he oversaw 600 military, federal, and civilian employees and contractors in support of Command, Control, Communications and Computers (C4) systems throughout all acquisition lifestyle phases.
He then transferred to his current position as Commander of the Naval Surface Warfare Center.
Throughout his military career he continued his education by completing non-resident education programs, including Amphibious Warfare School, Command and Staff College, and the Air War College. He also attended the Defense Acquisition University.
Pratt joins an elite list of former Linton Freedom Festival Grand Marshal's, including Captain Charles LaSota, Ted Bishop, Sen. Lindel Hume, Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman, former State Rep. Jerry Denbo, former Govs. Robert Orr and Joseph Kernan, Captain Joe Erler NSWC Crane, former Indiana Rep. John Gregg, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Sue Ellen Reed, Vincennes University President Emeritus Dr. Phillip Summers, former Secretary of State Joe Hogsett, and USA Olympic Bobsled team member Bruce Roselli.W