Joined the Naval Reserve 2X6 Program on 2 Mar 67. Went to boot camp at Great Lakes in Apr 67. Attended YN "A" School in Bainbridge, MD from Jan to Mar 68. Advanced to YN3 in Jul 68 and accepted a position as a TAR (Training and Administration of Reserves) at the Naval Reserve Training Center in Lima, OH. Discharged from active duty as a YN2 on 1 Mar 73 and immediately joined the Naval Reserve. Because of being PNA'd on active duty and joining the Naval Reserve within one year, was advanced to YN1. Assigned to NRSD 4-104(L). Over the next six years, this unit's gaining commands were various destroyers and frigates. Because our Naval Reserve Center was closed, joined a Naval Intelligence Unit in Columbus, OH. This unit's gaining command was the Fleet Intelligence Center in Norfolk, VA. Was advanced to YNC on 16 Sep 89. Drilled with this unit until retiring on 1 Jan 94.
Past Ohio Department Commander
Merle earned his Bachelor of Business Administration, Mount Vernon Nazarene University, September 1997, with a Grade-point average: 4.0 (on a 4.0 scale), graduated summa cum laude. In 1983, Merle began his career as a Clerical Supervisor for the Ohio Secretary of State. He then went on to be an Investigator at the Ohio Attorney Generalís office from 1983-1984. From 1984-1991, he was Administrative Assistant for the Ohio Attorney General, and also was the Director of Scheduling for Celebrezzeís campaign for Governor. From 1991-2007 he was the Deputy Director & Office Manager for the Ohio Attorney General, and he retired in 2009 as Director of Constituent Services for the Ohio Attorney General.
Merle has served as President of OP Consulting LLC. He is a Trustee
(Past President) of Military/Veterans Educational Foundation (1988-Present),
a Life Member (Past President) of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 670
(1988-Present), a Member (Past Chairman) of Columbus Veterans Day Parade
Committee (1989-Present), a Life Member of AMVETS Post 89 (1994-Present),
a Life Member (Past Commander) of American Legion Columbus Post 82 (1995-Present),
a Member of Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame Executive Committee (2001-Present),
a Member of Inter-Service Family Assistance Committee (2007-Present), a
Member of Franklin County Veteranís Memorial Board of Trustees (2008-Present),
a Member (Past Chairman) of Governorís Veterans Advisory Committee (1991-2009),
a Member of Ohio Veterans Employment & Training Council (1995-2009),
a Past Chairman of AMVETS State Legislative Committee (1999-2009), a Member
of Ohio Military Activation Task Force (2000-2009), a Member of Worker
Quality Committee, Governorís Workforce Policy Board (2001-2006), Chairman
of Ohio Attorney Generalís Veterans Advisory Council (2003-2009), a Member
of City of Columbus Downtown Streetcar Working Group (2006), Chairman of
Governorís Veterans Study Council (2007), and a Member of Masons, Eagles,
Elks and Moose . He is currently serving as Commander for the AMVETS
Department of Ohio.
Mr. Pratt was Commissioned a Kentucky Colonel by Governor Ernie Fletcher on September 13, 2004. He has received the prestigious AMVETS Silver Helmet Civil Servant-Of-The-Year Award (March 2004). Attorney General Jim Petro has awarded Merle with the Innovation and Excellence Award (November 2003). Military/Veterans Educational Foundation awarded Merle with Trustee of the Year (May 1999). He was Elected Membership in PHI DELTA LAMBA, the Academic Honor Society of the Colleges of the Church of the Nazarene (May 1997).
Merle currently lives in Powell, Ohio with his wife of 26 years, Lee Ann. They have 2 sons together, Aaron, age 26, who is currently in grad school at OSU, and Jonathan, age 23, who is a graduate of OSU. He also has 2 daughters, Julia, age 39, who is married to Jeff (Desert Storm Army Veteran), with 2 children Brad and Christy, and Melissa, age 36, who is a graduate of Bluffton College. Merle has one sister Jane, and one living brother Dawaine, who is a Navy veteran.
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