Craig Fleener has a long military history that began with earning the rank of Corporal in the United States Marine Corps where he served in supply, as well as a rifleman, and machine gunner. His service with the USMC taught him discipline, integrity, and professionalism. In 1991 he decided on a career change and eventually earned the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force working in Aircraft Maintenance and Intelligence. He received additional lessons in international diplomacy, research, attention to detail, foresight, and critical thinking.

 He currently works as a Program Manager with the Alaska Ocean Cluster. He creates the opportunity to connect VIPER to his nationwide network of partner organizations that are filled with military veterans who are looking for opportunities and hope. When explaining VIPER to these partners he says, “These veterans and civilians alike are amazed that such a program exists. They wish that they had similar opportunities when they were transitioning, and they all ask for branches of VIPER to be built in their areas.”

 Craig serves as a VIPER Board Member. When asked why he joined the VIPER board he said, “Because there are few opportunities for transitioning veterans and separated veterans, they often don’t know where to go for help, and the death rates among our young are preventable and appallingly high. I understand that being a veteran is honorable, knowledge is power and technical skills are essential. But nothing restores hope and personal pride like a job. Something must be done. And, if not me…then who?”