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Alumnus Capt. Christopher Mercado to present ‘Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan’ program on USD campus

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The W.O. Farber Center for Civic Leadership at the University of South Dakota will present the program, “Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan: A Rifle Company in Imam Sahib,” by Capt. Christopher L. Mercado, a 2004 distinguished military graduate of USD, at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at Farber Hall inside Old Main.

Mercado has served three years in combat, recently returning from north Afghanistan where he served as a rifle company commander. He led counterinsurgency operations in Imam Sahib and Dast-e Archi Districts of Kunduz Province. Prior to that deployment, Mercado managed the reconstruction and development of Panjshir Province in Afghanistan while serving on the Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team. Previously deployed to Iraq, Mercado served as a combat advisor to the Iraqi Army in central Baghdad for 15 months.

Since earning his commission in the United States Army in 2004, Mercado has served as an anti-armor platoon leader, company commander in B Company and Headquarters & Headquarters Company, and as an operations officer with the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment assisting in the development of plans and training for future combat deployment. He has earned several military awards and decorations, including the Bronze Star, Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Parachutist’s Badge, Army Achievement Medal (five awards), National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Medal (two awards), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Iraqi Campaign Medal. A native of San Antonio, Texas, Mercado is married with two children. A photo of Mercado is available for download at

For more information about the W.O. Farber Center for Civic Leadership or this event, which is free and open to the public, please contact the Farber Center at (605) 677-5702 or e-mail at


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Hanna DeLange
USD News