Reitzell, John R.

John R. Reitzell entered the U. S. Army in Monroe, Louisiana in 1969. He served in Vietnam where he earned the Bronze Star Medal with “V” on August 27, 1970. As a platoon leader, he repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire, being wounded twice, while directing, maneuvering and encouraging his men. He also received two Purple Heart Medals for the injuries sustained during this action. Col. Reitzell served in the 82nd Airborne, the 4th Infantry Division, the 2nd Infantry Division and the 2nd Armored Divisions, November Company Rangers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade and commanded the famed 1st Battalion 509th Parachute Infantry and is in that unit's Hall of Fame. His assignments began at the platoon leader level and increased in responsibility through Brigade Command. He commanded two Infantry Battalions of over 700 Soldiers and a Brigade of over 2,500. In combat Col. Reitzell served as a commander in Light Infantry, Parachute Infantry, and Ranger Infantry. He served as the aide-de-camp for the Commander of the 2nd Armored Division, MG George Patton IV. After a tour at the United States Air Force Academy as 'the Army guy' where he was the Officer in Charge of the United States Air Force Parachute Team, The Wings Of Blue, Col. Reitzell spent 1982-83 in Korea as the operations officer of the 'Frontline Brigade' on the DMZ. What followed were multiple years in 'black' Special Ops at Ft. Bragg, where he deployed on 36 'real world' operations in support of the US Counter Terrorism mission. Operations such as the invasion of Grenada, the response to the hijacking of TWA 847 and the seizing of the cruise ship Achille Lauro by terrorists are examples of these missions. Tom Clancy chronicles Col. Reitzell's participation in the Achille Lauro response in the 'Chase' Chapter of his book "Shadow Warriors". New York Times best selling author W.E.B. Griffin has dedicated his series of "Presidential Agent" novels on the rising threat of terrorism to John. Col. Reitzell retired in 1997 as the Chief of Staff of the United States Army Infantry School at Ft. Benning. COL(R) John Reitzell is currently a resident of Huntsville, Alabama.