A Biographical Sketch of
Mark Kevin Wykoff, Sr.
Mark Kevin Wykoff, Sr. retired from the United States Army in 2003 after a successful 21-year career as an intelligence officer. He culminated his career as the Chief of Defense Human Intelligence Service/Defense Intelligence Agency collection operations for the Great Lakes Region, an area of responsibility that encompassed Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. In that capacity, he served as the Great Lakes-based representative official of the Defense Intelligence Agency, representing the Agency on multiple regional Counter-Terrorism and Counter-Intelligence Task Forces and in all liaison with sister intelligence agencies and federal law enforcement entities.
Mark was raised in a Mennonite community near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Army in 1982, shortly after graduation from high school, and commenced his military career by being awarded “The Commanding General’s Award for Military Excellence” as the basic training “trainee of the cycle.” He later graduated with honors from the prestigious Defense Language Institute, at the height of the Cold War, having been trained in the Polish language. For the majority of the 1980’s he served in Europe, where he interrogated the highest-caliber East Bloc defectors in an effort to collect defense-related intelligence information on the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
After initial service as an enlisted soldier, and having been selected for promotion to the rank of Sergeant First Class, Mark became an officer, graduating first in his class from officer candidate school. His first assignment was to Alaska, where the mission of his unit included arctic warfare and the defense of the Alaskan pipeline. After a subsequent tour as a drill instructor at the same officer candidate school from where he acquired his officer appointment, Mark embarked on a lengthy and rigorous transition into the highly-specialized intelligence discipline of clandestine collection operations, which would take him on an array of classified assignments within the United States and overseas. He is one of the few and select graduates of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Field Tradecraft Course, conducted at a secret facility referred to as “the farm.” He earned national recognition for his contributions to the Global War on Terrorism.
During the course of his military career, Mark earned an Associate’s Degree, a Bachelor’s Degree, and a Master of Science Degree in International Relations. He is a two-time graduate of the Defense Language Institute, and earned an array of military awards and decorations, to include the Legion of Merit and the Parachutist Badge.
Upon retirement from the military, Mark enrolled in law school at the Southern Illinois University School of Law. He graduated a full semester ahead of his peers, in the top-third of his class, and was named to the Dean’s List. He learned practical criminal law and procedure under the tutelage of some of the most respected criminal defense attorneys in the Central District of Illinois, and served as an intern with the Office of the State Appellate Defender and the Downstate Innocence Project.
Mark is married with two children. He is a life member of the Military Officers Association of America, a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and a life member of Disabled American Veterans. He is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.