By Gabrielle KuholskiMarch 15, 2013
Fort Huachuca, AZ. - Family, friends and colleagues gathered to honor Col. Michael Arinello's accomplishments last week. His most recent -- retirement. A ceremony was held March 8 in Fitch Auditorium, Alvarado Hall, to thank Arinello for his 33 years of military service.
Brig. Gen. Edward Dorman III conducted the beginning of the presentation. Dorman's positions include director of Operations and Logistics Readiness and Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4, U.S. Army, Pentagon. According to Dorman, he and Arinello have known each other for three decades.
"It's been my pleasure to serve together with him throughout our careers, intersecting on occasion, but always being able to have someone there who is committed and caring, and who has demonstrated selfless service," Dorman said.
A native of Cranston, R.I., Arinello enlisted in the 118th Military Police Battalion, Rhode Island Army National Guard, in 1980. He graduated as distinguished military in 1982 from Providence College and received his commission. That same year, he earned his B.A. in psychology from Rhode Island College. Arinello is also a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic Course, Military Intelligence Officer Advanced Course, the Army Command and General Staff College, Joint Forces Staff College and the U.S. Army War College. He holds two master's degrees: a Master of Arts degree in personnel management from Troy State University, Ala. and a master's of strategic studies from the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.
"After I finished college, I knew I wanted to go active duty, and that began the journey," Arinello said. "It is within that journey that the strength of the Army, I learned, is the Soldiers and the people, and it has been one of the most exciting journeys based on the opportunity I've had to be with some of the people."
Until his retirement, Arinello's current position was military deputy and chief of operations for TRADOC Capabilities Manager Intelligence Sensors, or TCM IS. His previous assignments included director of J35, Northern Affairs with USFI for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn in Bagdad, Iraq; chief of Mid-East region assessment office, Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, Headquarters, U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command; director of Initiatives Group at Fort Belvoir, Va.; Concepts Development and Integration Directorate; director of Intelligence Doctrine and Homeland Security Division of United States Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, or USAICoE, at Fort Huachuca.
Arinello commanded from platoon to company level, and upon selection as a Functional Area 34 strategic intelligence officer, he served in staff positions from battalion through Joint, Multinational, NATO and Intelligence agency staff.
He served overseas tours in Germany and Turkey. He also served in Korea, southern Europe, Italy, Kosovo and Iraq.
"I've had a really interesting career. The real satisfaction has been serving to be a part of something bigger than myself and being able to be a part of history [which] has been priceless," Arinello said. "To be a part of the greatest and most powerful military force in all of its entirety has not only been a pleasure, but a privilege."
Arinello's military decorations and awards are numerous. His newest awarded to him at the ceremony was the Legion of Merit, for his military career as military deputy and chief of operations for TCM IS and USAICoE at Fort Huachuca. Certificates included one of appreciation signed by President Barack Obama and another officially marking his retirement.
Arinello was presented with star notes from the Commanding General of the United States Army Network Enterprise and Technology Command, Maj. Gen. Alan Lynn and Commanding General USAICoE, Maj. Gen. Gregg Potter, chief of the Military Intelligence Corps. In addition to the notes, James Rose, director of ICoE's Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate made a presentation thanking Arinello for his service.
As much as the ceremony focused on military services and awards, it also highlighted Arinello's family as a pillar of support. Arinello's older brother, retired Col. Dennis Arinello, made a congratulatory presentation, giving him a Gurkha knife display from Afganistan.
"It's an honor to be here today, especially on behalf of my kid brother," Dennis Arinello said.
Col. Michael Arinello's wife, Bunny, came on stage to thank the family for their support and also had their four sons come up on stage to present Arinello with a parting gift.
"I want to thank my husband's number-one battle buddy, our Lord Jesus, because when there was darkness, He was the light, and He would never ever leave my husband," his wife said.
According to Arinello, the strength of the Soldier is Family and he not only had the support from Family members but their patience as well.
"I could not have achieved this milestone without them," Arinello said.