by Kate Sobczak for Richard Torretto, Army, Honored by Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery
LTC Richard "Rick" James Torretto US Army (Ret). Proud husband, father and solider.
With nearly 27 years of uniformed service, Rick had a distinguished career. Beginning in Korea, Rick’s quickly demonstrated his leadership abilities and was subsequently selected to serve as the aide to Major General George Carver, the 7th Infantry Division Artillery Commander. He was then assigned to Ft. Bliss, where successfully commanded an ADA company. While there, Rick met the love of his life, who just so happened to be the Deputy Commanding General’s daughter, Ms. Penny Powers. They married three months later. In 1964 they moved to Canada, where Rick served as the U.S. Army Representative to the Canadian Army. In 1966, Rick served in Viet Nam as a Field Artillery Battalion Operations Officer, and was awarded the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm, by the South Vietnamese government. He then went to the Pentagon, where he served as the Protocol Officer for the Chief of Staff of the Army, GEN Westmoreland, and was responsible for all Medal of Honor ceremonies during President Nixon’s presidency. In 1972, he earned his first Master’s Degree from American University in Public Relations and was subsequently promoted early to Lieutenant Colonel before taking command of 2nd Battalion, 75th Field Artillery Regiment in Germany. After command, he was assigned to NATO’s Central Army Group in Mannheim, Germany, where he and Penny have fond memories of attending galas at Heidelberg Castle with wonderful couples from Allied nations.
In 1982, Rick and his family moved to San Antonio, where he served as the PMS of St. Mary’s University. Astutely identifying the untapped leadership potential of students attending Hispanic Serving Institutions, Rick made it his mission to transition the UTSA Army ROTC program from an extension of St. Mary’s to an autonomous host institution. Within a year, UTSA became such, with Rick serving as its first PMS. Rick proved to be a profound educator, c