REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – It was the example Col. Eric Rannow’s father set for him that led him to a life in uniform – and the opportunities that awaited in the Army that made him a Soldier.Growing up in Racine, Wisconsin, Rannow’s father was a police officer. While he always knew he wanted to follow in his father’s career footsteps, the older Rannow became, the more he was drawn to service – playing Soldier in the woods as a youngster, building model tanks and aircraft, and reading military history. The more he learned about the Army, the more opportunity he saw.“Being a Soldier has been the perfect fit for me,” Rannow said. “I don’t think I would have enjoyed any other career as much as I’ve enjoyed my time in the Army.”Today Rannow is the military deputy for the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center, where he is responsible for serving as the senior military advisor, ensuring personnel and resources remain aligned with the Army’s priorities.“I enjoy the diverse mission we’ve been assigned to deliver innovative aviation and missile capabilities to our Army,” Rannow said. “There are many challenges associated with this mission, but we have a world-class workforce ready to find the solutions. Even with this big mission, AvMC’s main priorities remain enabling Army readiness, providing future force capability, and developing Soldiers and people. My family and I are proud to be part of AvMC and members of Team Redstone.”Upon graduation from high school in 1987, Rannow attended the United States Military Academy, and was commissioned as a field artillery officer in 1992. Since that day the Army has taken him around the world – 14 moves to be exact – keeping true to the promise of opportunity that attracted him to a life in uniform in the first place.“My family and I always seek to bloom where the Army plants us and that philosophy has served us very well over the years,” Rannow said.His notable command assignments include battery command of A/2-15 Field Artillery, 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York and battalion level command as the product manager for PM Sets, Kits, Outfits, and Tools at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan. Prior to joining the AvMC workforce, he was the commander of the U.S. Army Test Center at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. His noteworthy awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Army Staff Identification Badge, and both Air Assault and Airborne Badges.Throughout his career, it is the people who have been the highlight of each assignment.“From the uniformed personnel I’ve served with, to the Department of the Army civilians I’ve worked with, to the industry partners I’ve collaborated with, all these people are great Americans united by a common mission,” Rannow said. “It has been my privilege for the last 28 years to be associated with such a high caliber workforce.”June 30 through July 2 is Army National Hiring Days, a time for young adults to learn more about the Army and consider becoming a Soldier. With career opportunities in 150 fields, to include aviation, cyber, artificial intelligence, health care and big data analysis, the Army offers a comprehensive benefits package that gives Soldiers and their families peace of mind, now and into the future. The Army is also the largest provider of scholarships in the nation, enabling scholars and athletes to attend college and become officers.Rannow has a little advice for potential recruits.“Be ready to embrace new challenges,” Rannow said. “Joining the Army signifies a special maturity in a person that they are thinking beyond themselves and ready to be part of an organization committed to selfless service to the nation. Most young people have not had many opportunities in their life to truly push themselves mentally and physically towards important goals in life. Go all-in and embrace the Army team you are joining. It is extremely rewarding to accomplish challenging goals together.“Lastly, I’ll mention passion. Passion is essential if you want to enjoy happiness and fulfillment in the long run. Find and pursue your passion and life will take on new meaning. People around you will sense your eagerness and excitement. If you are fired up and have passion, others around you will tend to match your enthusiasm and all things are possible.”--The CCDC Aviation & Missile Center, formerly known as the Aviation & Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC), is part of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, which conducts responsive research, development and life cycle engineering to deliver the aviation and missile capabilities the Army depends on to ensure victory on the battlefield today and tomorrow. Through collaboration across the command's core technical competencies, CCDC leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our nation's wars and come home safely. CCDC is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.