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I was born well before the turn of the century in Detmold, (West) Germany. (Trivia: I was born the year the last wheat penny was minted. Another clue: I was born the same day as Madonna).

In 1961, my parents immigrated to the United States (I was glad they didn't leave me behind).

They settled in St Joseph, Michigan and still live in that area today. I attended school in the Lakeshore School District. In high school, I was active in Key Club, German Club, National Honor Society, Student Council and was the marching band's drum major. I was a member of the first computer class ever taught at Lakeshore!! I graduated from Lakeshore High School in 1976 (a Bicentennial graduate!!).

Gaul Family Photo
Drum Majors    Senior Picture
In September of that year, I began my college education at Michigan Technological University (Houghton) on an Air Force ROTC scholarship. My major? What else? Computer Science. I was a member of the second class of that new program. I received my Bachelor's Degree in 1980. MTU Logo


After graduation, I entered the Air Force as a 2nd Lieutenant, stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. My first duty was as a Software Quality Engineer, working with the German Air Force, upgrading their F4 Phantom fighters. When that project ended, I worked on the computer programs that supported the upgrade to the B-52 bomber defensive radar systems. That system was a major player in Desert Storm.

In 1983, the Air Force offered me the opportunity to earn my graduate degree at the Air Institute of Technology full time. I, of course, accepted. I received my Master's Degree in Systems Management in 1984.

After grad school, I was assigned to Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Nebraska (join the Air Force, see the world--or at least the mid-West). There, I supervised the team of programmers who wrote and maintained the REAL War Games computer program. Our program predicted the chances each of our nuclear weapons had of reaching its target and what chances the pilots of the planes had for survival (none were very good). I'm glad we never got a chance to check the accuracy of our predictions.

After four years of war gaming, I volunteered for an assignment as an ROTC instructor. I was assigned as the Air Force History instructor and recruiter in the Air Force ROTC program at the University of Michigan, training many of the officers that defend us today (we're in good hands, I assure you).

Captain Gaul

In 1992, at the end of the first Bush presidency (actually the beginning of the Clinton years), and at the end of the Cold War, I accepted an Air Force offer to separate with severance during the large down sizing of the military. My exciting, fulfilling and enjoyable Air Force career had come to an end. Technically, I am still a major in the inactive Air Force Reserve.

In August of 1992, I accepted a position as the only Computer Information Systems instructor at Mid-State Technical College, on the Stevens Point campus. That year, there were 7 CIS students on the Point campus. My how things have changed. I have enjoyed every minute (well maybe not every minute) of this job and look forward to many more fun classes and students. MSTC Logo

On a more personal note, I am the father of three great kids (young adults): Erich, Jason and Annette. In February 2002, I married a wonderful woman, Suzan O'Keefe. I now have three great step-kids (young adults): Matt was a Marine supporting our anti-terrorist efforts (until 2005).  Matt married Colleen in 2004.  Mae, a UWSP grad,  married Nala Voen in 2010.  Liza is also a UWSP grad (summa cum laude).

Volker's Family Pictures

Our grandchildren (I'm a grandpa--Opa, actually!):
     Addison Jade (Matt & Colleen, July 2007)
     Luna Belle (Mae & Nala, February 2011)
     Peyton Rae (Matt & Colleen, August 2011)

Hobbies: I am an avid volleyball player (since college), I like to bowl and I am a numismatist. I love to read. My favorite authors are Stephen King, Tom Clancy, J.K. Rowling, Dean Koontz, Stephen Coonts, Robin Cook, Agatha Christie, Tom Harris and Sydney Sheldon.

That's most of what's interesting about me--hope you enjoyed the pictures--thanks for reading.

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