Graduating in 1966, Mark attended the Air Force Academy graduating summa cum laud in 1970. He steadily advanced in rank in the Air Force. From 1971-83 he was a transport pilot flying the T-39 (Northrup Sabreliner) and the C-130. He has combat flying experience in Southeast Asia and global flying experience in Asia-Pacific, U.S. Canada, Europe and the Middle East. Following his flying responsibilities, the emphasis of the remainder of his military service was on strategic and international affairs and the promotion of international and intercultural cooperation. Asia was the focus of his role as a Politico-Military Affairs Officer with assignments such as Air Force Attaché to China, U.S. Embassy Beijing and Chief of the U.S. Air Force Foreign Liaison Division, Pentagon, to name only two. He possesses a functional competence in both written and spoken Mandarin Chinese. He retired from the Air Force as a full colonel in October 1995
After retiring from the Air Force, Mark spent the next seven years working in the private sector before moving to higher education. He is currently employed by the University of Utah where his assignments have included serving as Assistant/Associate Dean for International Programs, Office of Undergraduate Studies.
He holds a B.S. in Economics from the United States Air Force Academy, an M.A. in Economics from the University of California at Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Utah.
Mark is an accomplished author, engaged citizen, husband and father of three. He remains active in community service with a focus on military organizations, education and international affairs. Together with his siblings he founded the Douglas Ralph Bean Memorial Scholarship Endowment in the Utah State University College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.