219th RED HORSE Squadron chief retires

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Eric Peterson
  • 120th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office
The chief of operations of the 219th RED HORSE Squadron of the Montana Air National Guard is retiring after serving in uniform 22 years for his country and state.

Chief Master Sgt. Bob Reiman will be leaving military service in August to accept a construction manager position with ADF International located north of Great Falls.

Reiman began his military career as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard in 1989. He served for five years as a damage controlman with four different search and rescue units before leaving to complete his college education.

He graduated from North American University in Scranton, Pa., with a bachelor's degree in wildlife forestry conservation then continued his public service working for the U.S. Forest Service.

He joined the 120th Fighter Wing in 1996 as a utilities craftsman in the 120th Civil Engineer Squadron and later transferred to the newly formed and first U.S. Air Force active duty and reserve RED HORSE associate units, the 219th and the 819th RED HORSE Squadrons located at Malmstrom Air Force Base.

During his career with the 219th RHS, Reiman worked as a structural craftsman, engineering assistant, superintendent of cantonments, first sergeant, and ultimately managed multi-million dollar projects as chief of operations for the highly mobile construction unit.

His motivation to volunteer for numerous overseas deployments was driven by his love of country and the tragic events of 9/11.

"September 11, 2001, changed my life and my service commitment to my country," he said. "I took every opportunity to volunteer for any deployment overseas. I deployed with my unit twice to Kuwait, twice to Iraq...and once to Afghanistan. I have had multiple deployments to Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kyrgyzstan, Israel, Turkey, South Korea, Guatemala, Croatia and Germany."

His most memorable deployment was a mission to Iraq where he served as his unit's first sergeant and also performed duties as the Air Force liaison for the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division. He was impressed with the dedication displayed by the soldiers working in the austere environment.

"I spent two months living with the Army in field conditions alongside the Tigris River protecting a dam that provided electrical power for all of Southern Iraq," he said. "Living with and watching what the Army did showed me the sacrifices that they were making in order for us to be free. It made me proud to be an American."

The 219th RHS has been heavily involved in building runways, tarmacs, billeting and office space in recent years, but Reiman's favorite projects were ones that improved the lives of others in the world.

"The projects that stand out for me were not war related, but humanitarian related," he said. "I like knowing what we built was long term and would be used for generations to come. I like the fact that we were helping [people] rebuild their lives and communities."

He credits several of his commanders for providing the mentorship that helped him become a successful leader during his military career. Previous 219th RHS commanders, Col. Gary Schick, Lt. Col. Frederyck Cayer, and current 219th RHS Commander, Lt. Col. Rusty Vaira, all made a profound and positive impact on his career.

Reiman said he will miss the members of the 219th RHS but will be leaving the unit in good hands as he transitions into his new civilian career.

"The most satisfying part of being a member of the military is to know that you are a part of that one percent who keep guard over our nation," he said. "No one can take that from you. It demands their respect. I am proud to be an American and that is why I served."