Steve Reichert- USMC Warrior

 In Military, Veterans

Steve Reichert is warrior with highly regarded skills and connections. He is a retired Staff Sergeant who spent 12 years in the United States Marine Corps. After an IED explosion in 2004 ended his Marine Corps infantry experience, he moved into new horizons with the aptitude, attitude and expertise of a USMC veteran who epitomizes “Improvise, Adapt and Overcome.”  But let’s start at the beginning.

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Steve Reichert

The “2 way range”

When I asked him to tell me a “badass story,” he simply said that his actions on the battlefield were not so much about him, but about  his Marines and what they did. So I’ll cheat and tell you one for him.

Steve  was an Infantry Platoon Sgt for 2 Battalion, 2nd Marines, Fox Co, 1st Platoon out of Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Prior to his deployment, he made his Marines toe the line while handling their firearms and performing basic infantry tactics,  because how they handled their weapons, and where they positioned themselves could one day save their lives. He knew that they would eventually be deployed to Iraq. It was his job to prep them for combat, and ensure that they “performed under fire.”

So he “rode” them, forcing them to improve their weapons manipulation skills, while also making certain they knew why they were taught certain tactics.  He wanted them to perform flawlessly.

Deployment 

The time came for deployment to the “two way range ” in February of 2004. On April 9, 2004, SSgt Reichert was 25 years old. He and one of his NCO’s climbed to a vantage point on an old storage tower in Lutafiyah, Iraq to cover a squad’s movement through the nearby town. They had little cover on the top of that tank.

30 Minutes into the patrol, a grenade was thrown at the Marine patrol. The battle that ensued lasted for hours. As the day progressed, the fighting moved further into the town. SSgt Reichert’s entire platoon was committed to the fight, as both Fox company’s QRF (Quick Reaction Force) and the Battalion QRF were being called in for support. SSgt Reichert kept the rooftops clear for the Marines maneuvering on the ground — a “classic example of how a well-trained Marine and his rifle can deliver long range precision fire to affect the outcome of a battle.”

At one point during the battle,  insurgents tried to strategically position a machine gun to bring fire into the building where the platoon had been held up. They went up the stairs to the backside of where the firefight raged.  Reichert aimed at the brick wall where he knew his Mk211 round would have the best effects on the target,  and with one shot “removed the three insurgents from the fight.”  He made the difference in that battle by his deadly accuracy and skill.

For his actions that day, SSgt Reichert earned the Bronze Star with a V for Valorous Actions.

2004 the IED that changed his life

Later that year, they were driving along a road just south of Fallujah, when a roadside bomb blew up about 6 feet away from the vehicle, hurling shrapnel and debris through an opening in the door.

Both the driver and Steve brought the vehicle to a halt, slamming on the brakes and grabbing the emergency brake to keep the vehicle from going off the road and into a river.

By then, Steve couldn’t hear much, had blood in his mouth and a hole in his goggles.

“I figured since I could see the hole in my goggles I wasn’t blind… so I checked everything and decided I was ok. But I was pissed- I wanted to find whoever triggered it and put a bullet in his head.”

Steve said that it was a common practice for the “insurgents” to hard wire an IED, trigger it, and then run.

“I saw a guy running away and lifted my rifle to my face…and noticed my cheek was just mush.”

The Marine Corpsman came over and said, “SSgt, you’re all f****d up.”

No, I’m ok.” Steve then did everything in his power to stay away from the Corpsman’s needles.

That didn’t work for long, as soon as he arrived at the base hospital, numerous needles were deployed and he was out like a light. Nice try, though, have to give him credit for the effort.

“I didn’t like needles back then, but after being a pin cushion for weeks,  they don’t bother me now.”

Technology for the military

His injury required a medical retirement, so while waiting for the Navy Medical Board to work its magic, the 2nd Marine Division Gunner pulled Steve to the Division Training Center (DTC) because of his organizational skills and leadership traits. Once at the DTC, Steve was tasked with establishing the DTC’s pre-sniper course and all related POI’s (Programs of Instruction).

By 2006, he spent a short time “moonlighting” at a Blackwater Training Facility and decided there were some things that could be done better.

So he obtained an investor and founded what is known as Tier 1 Group – or T1G. It became about the same size as Blackwater, minus the operational assets overseas.

The T1G provided military training both in and outside the United States. In 2011, Steve dropped his shares in T1G and moved to work with various government agencies to bring technology and resources to the military.

A rifle comes full circle

One sample of his work with technology  for the Marines came with the XM3 program. The XM3 was a suppressed sniper rifle developed in conjunction with DARPA and the Marine Warfighters laboratory. Reichert’s involvement in the program assisted in deploying  52 XM3’s to Marines in 2006. With inline night vision, variable powered scopes and the suppressors,  it gave the Marines on the battlefield an advantage they didn’t have at the time.

Eventually the rifles were turned over to the Army’s CMP program, where they will be auctioned off. Steve purchased one of the XM3 rifles in  November of 2014. Upon breaking it down, he found his name engraved on the stock. Full circle- the rifle that CMP sent him was one of the prototype XM3’s that was his personal rifle. When the rifle’s manufacturer needed two additional rifles for a special Marine Corps group, Steve gave up his rifle to save time. 8 years later that same rifle was back in his hands.

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Reichert’s gun came full circle

Expertise and skill

There is no doubt that Steve Reichert is well connected – his skill at organizing and knowledge of weapons technology serves both his career and the Marine Corps well.

Whenever he has time, he still conducts an occasional training class at no cost to law enforcement so he can help the “boys in blue.” But his first love will always be the United States Marine Corps.

“I used to have to  guide Lance Corporals or PFCs, or some wayward Lieutenant that just graduated from college to keep him from getting killed. When I see Marines I dealt with migrate to MARSOC or see a kid that was only 18 years old that is now a Company Gunny, it’s gratifying.”

Read more at Steve’s website here:

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