Denny Reimer

Two of our Classmates near the end of their Military Careers – One Army Chief of Staff, the other Commander of The Joint Special Operations Command.

When he was younger and did not know better

From left (standing) are Mike Casp, unknown (ROTC fellow), Denny, Dave Mundt and Mac McRae; kneeling are unknown (ROTC fellow), Don Street, “Tod Bergman” and Jim Heldman.

2011 DISTINGUISHED GRADUATE AWARD

Dennis J. Reimer ’62

Throughout his 41 years in the uniform of the United States Army, General Dennis J. Reimer has consistently reflected the values of West Point’s motto: Duty, Honor, Country. He continues that today with his leadership and selfless service for the Academy, the Army and the nation. He is the consummate, quintessential military leader and a dedicated, caring General Officer whose charismatic leadership style, strength of character and powerful vision of how things ought to be has made a compelling difference in shaping the future of the US Army.

General Reimer’s operational experience included command at every level from battery to army. He served two tours in Vietnam, first as an advisor and later with an artillery battalion in the 9th Division. During these tours Denny received the Legion of Merit, a Bronze Star with V, and a Purple Heart among other awards. A student at both Command and General Staff College and the War College, he also taught at Fort Sill and served as the Deputy Assistant Commandant. Promoted to Brigadier General, he became Commanding General, III Corps Artillery. In 1988, Major General Reimer took command of the 4th Infantry Division after serving as the operations officer for the US Combined Forces Command in Korea. His knowledge of Army operations led to his promotion to lieutenant general and assignment as Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations on the Army Staff in 1990. During Operation Desert Shield, he led the planning for the Army’s support of that operation.

Denny’s promotion to full general in 1991 was accomplished by assignment as the Army’s Vice Chief of Staff, where he took on the management of the Army’s internal affairs and the drawdown of its structure and facilities. In 1993, he took command of US Army Forces Command prior to being selected as the 33rd Army Chief of Staff in 1995.

President Clinton, when he nominated General Reimer to be the Chief of Staff, stated that Denny “played a key role in the transformation of the Cold War Army into today’s power projection Army. He brings to the job as Chief of Staff a clear vision of the national security environment that the United States will face through the remainder of the decade and into the next century.”

During his tenure as Chief of Staff of the Army, the Army professionally and effectively deployed and executed desperately needed peacekeeping operations in the Balkans, preventing further bloodshed and genocide. This action by the Army brought a legacy of peace and hope to an entire region and resolved a key lingering source of instability in Europe. Numerous world crises challenged then Chief of Staff Dennis Reimer; however, he always took time to travel back to his beloved West Point to participate in the Plebe’s summer march backs. Then Plebe Major Ducote observed that “General Reimer interacted with countless classmates and set the standard for the type of inspirational leader we should strive to emulate.” He returned numerous times to interact with the Class of 1999 and became affectionately known throughout the class as “our Chief.” Then Commandant of Cadets, General Abizaid commented “Each visit was inspirational and character forming for each cadet. His message of ‘Soldiers are our Credentials’ came from the motto of the 8th Infantry Division, reflected his priorities, and had a lasting impact on the Corps as they viewed service to the Army and nation after graduation.”

After retiring from active service, General Reimer further distinguished himself by returning to his native Oklahoma to become the first Director of the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism in Oklahoma City. In this position, he delivered remarkable insight and programs for communities nationwide and for their emergency responders. Governor Frank Keating remarked “This experience shaped his sensitivity and fundamental understanding of the needs and requirements of our cities and towns across America. His leadership as the Director has left America better prepared to prevent terrorism and to deal with the consequences.”

Denny Reimer’s unique service to the nation in war and peace, combined with his lifelong support of West Point, is in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Military Academy. He has exemplified the finest values of West Point for more then four decades. Accordingly, the West Point Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy takes great pride in presenting the 2011 Distinguished Graduate Award to Dennis J. Reimer, Class of 1962.

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