Unit Leaders
Lt. Col. John S. Kinitz Battalion Commander, 3D Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion
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A native of Bethlehem, PA, LtCol Kinitz enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in June 1995.  He completed Recruit Training and attended the School of Infantry and received the MOS of 0311.  In December 1995, he reported to Company E, 2/25 in Harrisburg, PA.  He attended Shippensburg University while serving in the Reserves and graduated with a BS in Criminal Justice.  During college, he attended Officer Candidates School and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in May 2000. After graduation from The Basic School and the Infantry Officer’s Course, he attended the LAV Leader’s Course and was assigned to 2nd LAR Battalion at Camp Lejeune. From November 2001-May 2003 he served as a platoon commander and company executive officer.  During this time he participated in combat operations in support of OIF I.  From June 2003 to September 2004 LtCol Kinitz served as LAR Detachment Platoon Commander for BLT 1/6, 22nd MEU.  During this time, he participated in combat operations in Afghanistan in support of OEF V.   

In November 2004, LtCol Kinitz was transferred to The Basic School where served as the Squad an Patrolling Tactics primary instructor for two years and as Staff Platoon Commander for two Basic Officer Course student companies.  In November 2007, Major Kinitz was transferred to Fort Knox, KY to attend the Maneuver Captains Career Course and Calvary Leaders Course.

 In June 2008, LtCol Kinitz was transferred to 1st LAR Battalion.  Assigned as the Assistant Battalion Operations Officer, he deployed to Iraq in support of OIF 9.1.  Upon redeploying, he was assigned as Company E Commander. He deployed to Afghanistan in support of OEF 10.1.  Detached from 1st LAR Battalion the entire deployment, LtCol Kinitz led his company in support of RCT-7 in security operations outside of Marjeh and was later detached to support Task Force Helmand.

In January 2011, LtCol Kinitz was transferred to the School of Infantry West, Advanced Infantry Training Battalion, Light Armored Vehicle Training Company.  He served as the Company Commander, responsible for the four programs of instruction that make LAV Crewman and provide career progression training for all Light Armored Vehicle Crewman and company grade officers assigned to LAR Battalions.

In June 2013 LtCol Kinitz was transferred to 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment where he served as the Battalion Executive Officer.  He deployed with 1/1 on UDP-W, participating in a training rotation at Camp Fuji and Exercise Cobra Gold. 

In July 2015, LtCol Kinitz attended Command and Staff College, earning a Masters in Military Studies.  In 2016, he was transferred to The Basic School where he served as a Basic Officer Course Company Commander and the Warfighing Director, TBS Chief Instructor, where he served until assuming command of the Wolfpack.    

His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal with gold stars in lieu of second and third awards, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with combat distinguishing device and gold stars in lieu of second and third awards, the Navy Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon with gold star in lieu of second award and the Reserve Good Conduct medal.   

 

 

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1st Marine Division

Camp Pendleton, CA