Brigadier General Ronald W. Mielke was born in Aberdeen, South Dakota. He graduated from Groton High School in 1960. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering and an ROTC commission from the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps at South Dakota State University in 1965. He attended the Engineer Officer Basic Course at Fort Belvoir, Virginia and was assigned to a combat engineer battalion. He served with that battalion in Vietnam from October 1965 through September 1966. Upon returning to the United States, he served as company commander in a construction engineer battalion for a year. He left active duty in September 1967 to attend graduate school at the University of South Dakota where he earned a Masters in Business Administration in 1969.
BG Mielke joined the South Dakota Air National Guard as a Captain in 1972. He served as a civil engineer staff officer and operations officer for many years and was the 114th Civil Engineering Squadron Commander for five years. His squadron earned an excellent rating in the 12th Air Force ROI in 1988. This was only the second excellent rating given to a civil engineering squadron in the 12th Air Force. He commanded several civil engineering Prime Beef deployments throughout the United States and four overseas deployments to US Air Force bases. On July 1, 1989, he was assigned to the Headquarters, SDANG as the Director of Plans and Programs. On August 1, 1995, he was appointed by Governor William J. Janklow to serve as the Assistant Adjutant General for Air for the State of South Dakota. He served in that position until his retirement on October 24, 2002.
In his civilian career, BG Mielke has been employed by TSP for the past 42 years. He is one of the thirteen Principal's in the organization. TSP is an architectural, engineering and construction organization that employs 130 people in Sioux Falls and Rapid City, South Dakota; Sheridan, Wyoming; Omaha, Nebraska; Marshalltown and Des Moines, Iowa and Rochester, Minneapolis and Marshall, Minnesota. He is a registered professional mechanical engineer in South Dakota and several other states. During his TSP career, he served twenty years as the CEO of the organization.
BG Mielke is an instrument rated, private pilot and enjoys flying, traveling, reading and spectator sports. He is a member of the SD Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve and serves as its chair; Life Member and current South Dakota State President and Dacotah Chapter member of the Air Force Association; current Co-Chairman and member of the Sioux Falls Military Task Force; current member of the SD Board of Military Affairs; current member and past-president of Sioux Falls Downtown Rotary; Executive Committee and board member of the Sioux Falls Airshow; Past Chairman of the Board and Business Leadership Council Chairman of the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce; past Chairman and board member of the Sioux Empire United Way; past board member of the Sioux Falls Are Community Foundation; past Chairman of the Board and board member of Starbase of SD, Inc.; Life Member of the National Guard Association of the United States and South Dakota; and a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers.
BG Mielke resides in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and has one son, Steve. BG Mielke's wife of 43 years, Charlotte, passed award in May 2013.