Donor Profile: Colonel Matt Langer
Colonel Matt Langer is Chief of the Minnesota State Patrol and has held a number of leadership roles throughout his distinguished career both here in Minnesota and nationally. Colonel Langer is a highly respected law enforcement professional who is also an adjunct faculty member at Century College and Metropolitan State University.
Col. Langer is a member of Northern Star Scouting’s board of directors and a 2022 recipient of the Spurgeon Award, which is given to outstanding community leaders that serve as a role model for young people. The awards this year will be presented at the Community Builder Celebration on November 16 at the Intercontinental St. Paul Riverfront Hotel.
We had a conversation about his career and Scouting background:
1. How did you become involved with the Exploring program?
Col. Langer: I became involved because a State Trooper I met provided me with information about the State Patrol’s recently re-established post. That was in 1994. I joined and had nothing but exceptional experiences while an Explorer.
Once I was hired as a State Trooper, I spent years as an advisor. Being a part of the Explorer program as an Explorer and Advisor allowed me to see both sides of involvement. It was very rewarding. I am extremely grateful to my original advisors for all of the mentoring they provided me. It was a tremendous experience that provided a great foundation for a successful career.
2. What kind of activities did you do with your Exploring Post?
Col. Langer: The memories I hold relate to providing experience. The meetings with training provided an opportunity to not only get ready for statewide competitions at Breezy Point, but they also provided relationships. The training assisted with navigating college law enforcement training and also assisted with the completion of the State Patrol Academy in 1999. Many of the relationships formed are still strong today.
Aside from preparing for competitions, we did some volunteer work like assisting with a golf tournament, directing traffic, etc. The many ride-alongs also provided great experience and furthered relationships. I remember being afforded the opportunity to talk on the radio and write citations. Although they seem like small acts, it provided an opportunity to get involved and put into practice the things we had been learning. Personal growth is part of Exploring.
3. Are there any memorable stories of personal growth with your Explorers?
Col. Langer: I look back at some of the photos and think of myself as so young at the time. But, people trusted me because I was invested in the program and was willing to demonstrate my core values. The growth that occurred from the First Nighter I attended in 1994, to graduating from the State Patrol academy in 1999 is remarkable.
I am in debt to the program because it provided me an opportunity to grow. I intentionally hire our explorers once they get to that stage in their career. They have demonstrated commitment and passion toward our organization. While they still must meet all of the hiring requirements, it is a huge honor to see them get sworn in as State Troopers.
4. What would you say to anyone who asked why you are donating financially to the Scout program?
Col. Langer: It is a program that invests in our young people and promotes public safety in Minnesota. It is worth every penny.