Regimental Division,
Office Chief of Signal

United States Army Signal Center, Fort Gordon, GA
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Header insignia for Distinguished Member biography pageDistinguished Member of the Regiment biography for

LTG (Ret.) Thomas M. Rienzi

LTG (Ret.) "Big Tom" Rienzi took on big challenges for Signal communications in Vietnam as well as in other assignments during his 37-year Army career.

World War II began his career, where he helped build communications in the India-Burma-China theater. After World War II, LTG Rienzi was assigned to the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project at Sandia Base, N.M., and for four years worked with atomic weapons planning and implementation, participating in more than 40 detonations. After he returned to the Signal Corps, he commanded 51st Signal Battalion and served as I Corps Signal officer. Other assignments included joint planning and Army logistics at Pacific Command in Hawaii; Signal officer for XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, N.C.; executive officer to the Chief Signal Officer and chief of communications-electronics in Washington, D.C.; chief of the Combat Surveillance Office and program manager for all combat surveillance, target acquisition and night-vision equipment in the Army at Army Material Command; and commander, Signal Center and School, Fort Monmouth, N.J.

Then came his service in Vietnam, where he was deputy commanding general of 1st Signal Brigade, then commander, while also serving as deputy chief of staff for communications and electronics. The brigade had 23,000 soldiers in Vietnam, Thailand and Laos.

Post-Vietnam, he commanded the Army’s Strategic Communications Command Pacific and served concurrently as assistant chief of staff, communications-electronics, U.S. Army Pacific; director of telecommunications and command and control for the Army, where he was planner, programmer and policy-maker for the Army’s C2 and communications systems; and deputy director general, chief of staff and chief engineer at NATO’s Integrated Communications Systems Management Agency in Brussels, Belgium.

Author of the book Communications in Vietnam, his awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal.

LTG Rienzi was inducted as a Distinguished Member of the Signal Regiment in 1999.

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LTG Thomas Rienzi
Rienzi enjoying retirement in Hawaii, 1999.

Last modified on:
April 04, 2012

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