Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Rodger Pinto, who served as an 82nd Airborne infantry paratrooper in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Rodger Pinto was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, and he grew up surrounded by family members who had served in the military. After graduating high school, Pinto was unsure of whether he wanted to pursue higher education. Eventually, he became motivated by a duty to serve, so he enlisted in the Army.
Pinto served as an infantry soldier with the 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division from 2008-2014. During this time he deployed to Iraq for the last combat operations of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he served as a gunner for the battalion commander. In addition, Pinto supported route clearance operations and worked within the tactical operations center, coordinating unit missions.
Pinto also served in Afghanistan as an infantry noncommissioned officer. He served in Regional Command East in Ghazni province and participated in combat missions, provided security to combat engineers and worked within the tactical operations center.
Pinto received a Combat Infantry Badge during his service. In an email to a friend, he said that both deployments taught him “a significant amount about stress management, time management, conflict resolution and team building, giving a foundation that led to future success in academics.”
After his military service, Pinto worked as a logistics broker before using his GI Bill education benefits to enroll at Indiana University (IU). While Pinto attended IU he studied political science and sociology at the undergraduate level. Also, earlier this year, he completed a master of public affairs at IU.
Pinto is passionate about advocating for the Veterans community and said his aim is to “make a positive impact on communities and also contribute to dialogues surrounding the Veterans community.” He is especially interested in “breaking stigmas associated with Veterans in higher education and political discourse.”
Currently, Pinto is an executive implementing special projects, including a Veterans hiring initiative with a Veteran-owned startup in the aviation industry.
Thank you for your service!
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.
Writer: Maggie Allegar
Editors: Annabelle Colton, Wilson S. Sainvil
Researcher: Patrick Woods
Graphic Designer: Kiki Kelley