Commander Tom Reitmeyer - United States Navy
Naval Aviator (1977-1997)
- Radio Intercept Officer
Tom Reitmeyer was born October 15,
1951. He attended Resurrection Elementary and graduated from South Hills
Catholic High School in 1970. Four years later he had earned a degree in
Urban Management from the University of Pittsburgh. After an unsuccessful
run for State Legislator, Tom applied for a Navy Commission in 1977. He
was following in the footsteps of his older brother Bob, a former Navy
After spending four-plus years in
Naval Intelligence, he switched to duty on an F14 Tomcat fighter-interceptor. Tom was a flight officer, or Radar
Intercept Officer (RIO), responsible for the fighter's weapons and
Radar Intercept Officer Tom
Reitmeyer, March 1989.
On April 15, 1986, Tom flew a
mission in support of the United State's bombing of Libya. On that mission, his carrier-based F14
flew along as fighter escort for the raid. The attack was in reprisal
for a series of terrorist bombings by extremist groups with ties to
the regime of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Tom's Navy career continued for
another decade until his retirement in 1997. After twenty years of
distinguished service, he had reached the rank of Commander.
In addition to his undergraduate
degree in management, Tom Reitmeyer also earned a Master's Degree in
administration. He spent time as an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon
University, where he taught "Leadership and Ethics." With over fifteen
years experience in private industry, Tom is the founder of Decision Now,
a leadership, consulting and coaching firm.
Tom currently lives in
Virginia Beach. He and his ex-wife Kim Kearns Reitmeyer (Elizabeth-Seton
High School '73) have raised four children: Peter, Maggie, Molly and Joey.
Kim now lives in Flagstaff, Arizona, near their two daughters and their
Continuing the Reitmeyer family
military heritage, Commander Tom Reitmeyer's oldest son, Peter, is a retired
Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marine Corps who served as a naval
aviator. Tom's youngest son, Joseph, is a Lieutenant Commander in the United
States Coast Guard, currently serving in Alaska. Both Joseph and Peter saw
duty in the Middle Eastern Theatre during the present-day War on
Peter's Marine Corps career began in
December 1991. After basic training, he was a assigned as a Rifleman in I Company,
3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment from September 1992 through July 1996. First
a basic rifleman, he was promoted first to Fire Team Leader and then to Squad
Leader. During this time he earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from the
University of Pittsburgh.
From March 1997 through December 1999,
he attended Officer Training School as a Student Naval Aviator. He was then
assigned as Intelligence Officer and UN-1N Iroqois pilot with HMLA-269 from May
2000 through January 2002. His next assignment was as a Pilot Training Officer
with HMM-263 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, managing pilot training for the Light
Attack Detachment and flying Combat Operations as a UH-1N pilot.
Beginning in July 2003, his next year
was spent as a Forward Air Controller with the 2nd Tank Battalion, coordinating
and controlling the operations of tactical aircraft in the terminal phase of
Close Air Support missions. The following year was spent as an Intelligence
Officer with HMLA-267, this time managing the Squadron's Intelligence Department
and serving as a UH-1N Instructor Pilot.
In October 2005 Peter was transfered to
the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit to manage the Squadron's Flightline Division
and fly combat operations. After eleven months he attended the Marine Corps
University, where he earned a Masters Degree in Military Operational Art and
Science. He then served as a faculty member from June 2007
through August 2008.
In January 2009 he became a Future
Operations Officer with the 2nd Marine Air Wing, where he practiced the skills
to conduct planning and coordination of all USMC aviation assets in theater.
He also flew additional combat operations. Then, from September 2009 through
August 2011, Peter served as Operations Officer in HMLA-467.
During this time he was deployed with
the 2nd Marine Air Wing to Operation Iraqi Freedom (1/2009-9/2009) and to
Haiti for Operation Unified Response, providing earthquake relief
(1/2010-4/2010). By this time Officer Reitmeyer had achieved the rank of
Major Peter Reitmeyer's next assignment
was with the prestigious Marine Helicopter Squadron-One as Presidential Command
Pilot and Aviation Maintenance Officer. This assignment began in August 2011
and lasted nearly four years. During this time, his duties were
He supervised the maintenance department
consisting of 500 personnel, nineteen Executive aircraft, sixteen Cargo
helicopters and twelve Tilt-rotar aircraft along with the associated ground
and test equipment. He also directed helicopter operations and coordinated
with the President's Emergency Operations Center to ensure seamless support
to the President of the United States. In addition, Peter oversaw the
retirement of the CH-46 Chinook helicopter from the presidential support
mission and the integration of the MV-22 Osprey.
Major Peter Reitmeyer stands next to the
Presidential helocopter (left)
and Marine One taking off from the White House lawn.
Peter Reitmeyer also served as
VH-3D Sea King/VH-60N White Hawk White House Helicopter Command Pilot,
planning and flying worldwide missions in support of the President,
Vice President and White House. He also served as a Marine One instructor
When Marine One lifted off from the
White House lawn carrying the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the
United States, we could all rest assured that President Barack Obama and his
family were in the capable hands of a decorated veteran pilot, born in Brookline,
with a long and storied family history of dedicated military service to our
country, and strong neighborhood roots.
The President and First Lady on their
way towards boarding Marine One. It was Major Reitmeyer's first lift.
In June 2015, Marine Naval Aviator
Peter Reitmeyer left the Presidential Transport Squadron and was assigned
to the United States Naval Academy as Marine Detachment Chief of Staff. By
now promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, he served as the Chief Operating Officer
for all Marine Corps activities at the Academy.
On February 2, 2018, after a storied
career spanning twenty-six years and two months, Lieutenant Colonel Peter
Reitmeyer retired from the United States Marine Corps. He is currently working
as a commercial pilot and a Marine Corps Historian. He is currently involved
in researching the Battles of Pelleliu and Iwo Jima.
NOTE: The Reitmeyer family has quite a
storied legacy of military tradition. It began with John Reitmeyer in 1929 and
has continued through three generations until today. Click here to
read about the amazing service record and sacrifice of this remarkable Brookline
* Written by Clint Burton:
May 26, 2012 - Updated April 14, 2018 *