First Lieutenant Tony Reinhard
I come from a background of Soldiers and fighters. Both my uncles on my mom's side, my grandfather, my other grandfather was in Korea in the Navy. Special Operations, infantry guys, commo guys. So I've always been interested in it. It's a k...
My name is First Lieutenant Tony Reinhard and my MOS is 11A, and that's an Infantry Officer. And I was originally born in Omaha, Nebraska. I grew up outside of Denver, Colorado and went to school in Arizona.
I come from a background of Soldiers and fighters. Both my uncles on my mom's side, my grandfather, my other grandfather was in Korea in the Navy. Special Operations, infantry guys, commo guys. So I've always been interested in it. It's a key point.
I worked on Capital Hill in Washington, D.C. for congressman Tim Walberg from Michigan's 7th Congressional District. Once a quarter they would take maybe 30 to 45 hill staffers to a given Army post. Well I was lucky enough to get to go to Fort Rucker and experience Army aviation for a day. Take part in training activities. See weapon demonstrations. See the underwater survival, which is really kind of amazing.
It's remarkable the strength of our Soldiers. It was eye opening, and inspiring event for me and all of that lead to a decision not much more than 12 to 15 months later. For me, I am fully capable. I'm healthy, I'm young, I'm fit, I can go do this. And if I go do this and that lets someone who's had two- or three- deployments already spend a little extra time at home then you know what, I would have accomplished the goal that I'm setting for myself here.
OCS was fantastic. I forged a lot of bonds with both prior enlisted and college option like myself. We learned a lot about how to be an officer, how to write op orders, do your TLPs, do your mission planning. But you really learned how to be an Army family at that point. That's when you really started to lean on individuals to get you through and it was a fantastic experience.
I tell you what I learned more about myself, what my body could take, what my mind could take and what I could overcome and accomplish truly in Ranger school. There are times when you just don't think you can go any more and you look left and right and your battle buddies are there and there in the same boat you are. And you say 'you know what not for me but for them.' I'm going to drive on and that's truly what it is.
An Infantry officer really is the on the ground, ground pounding leader. And that can go in various forms from the platoon leader a brand new second lieutenant to a company commander who commands various platoons in theatre or in garrison preparing to go to theatre. I can go to the battalion commander or even the brigade commander. There are a few officers in the company; you know a company commander, and executive officer, some platoon leaders. But there's give or take a 130 Soldiers. So if you're doing it for you, you're doing it for the wrong person. But if you're doing it for them to make sure that their ready to go and they can do everything that you ask of them, then you're doing for the right reasons.
My job is to make sure that my guys know exactly how to do it. That there trained to do it. And they have all the resources to do it successfully, safely, minimize risk and casualties and still accomplish their mission.
Especially as a leader, as an officer, that your Soldiers have this innate ability to accomplish their mission no matter what it is, no matter how daunting it is, you can give it to them and they're going to get it done. When they accomplish that mission that's when you really feel, really feel like you've done what you needed to.
The advice that I would have for people who are thinking of about becoming an officer would go along my train of thought when I joined. I looked around and said two- or –three deployments for some people, they haven't been home in a while, that's the life they've chosen and I know they enjoy it. However, if I can join, if I can do it, maybe that relieves the burden on someone else. And that's just the service, the selfless-service that you have to embody that really makes Army officership .
Back To Top