Paul Rieckhoff enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves in 1998 and transferred to the New York Army National Guard in 1999. He graduated from Officer Candidate School in June 2001 where he was named a Distinguished Military Graduate. Rieckhoff selected infantry as his branch and joined A Company, 1/105th INF (Light). After the attacks of 9/11, his National Guard unit was formally activated for rescue and security operations. The following year, Rieckhoff enrolled and completed Infantry Officers training at Fort Benning, Georgia. He was as an Army First Lieutenant and infantry rifle platoon leader in Iraq from 2003-2004. After returning to the U.S. in 2004, he founded Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), a nonpartisan, nonprofit with over 150,000 members in all 50 states. IAVA’s mission is to improve the lives of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans and their families. Today Rieckhoff is a nationally recognized authority, author and speaker on the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and a broad range of issues affecting troops, veterans and their families.