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John entered the Army in 1990 at the age of 18 as a “plebe” in West Point’s class of 1994. While at the Academy he studied Environmental Engineering, held several command positions - ultimately Company Commander responsible for 120 cadets; and participated in several activities and sports including Sprint Football in which he varsity lettered 3 years and was chosen as the Offense MVP for the annual Army Navy Game in 1993. The Fio Rito family has three generations of West Point graduates. John’s father served as a fighter pilot in the Air Force and two of John’s nephews served combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Upon graduation John was commissioned a 2LT of Armor and after officer basic training at Ft Knox, Kentucky was assigned as an M1A2 tank platoon leader in the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry of the 1st Cavalry Division at Ft Hood Texas. While assigned to 3/8 Cav john held multiple staff and command positions including tank company executive officer, operations officer and logistics officer.

 In 1996 John deployed with the 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division to the Kuwaiti/Iraqi border as part of Operation 

Desert Strike, a show of force mission to dissuade Iraqi aggression.


Following his tour at Ft. Hood, John was reassigned to US Army Europe Headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany and served as an operations officer in the Crisis Action Branch, a division of operations responsible for all contingency “911” operations in Europe and Africa. John’s follow-on assignment was to the 1st Infantry Division, Schweinfurt Germany where he ultimately served as the Commander of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion 77th Armor Regiment and deployed with his unit to Kosovo under Operation Joint Guardian, a NATO peace enforcement mission. John’s final assignment was an assistant professor of military science at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.


After nearly 15 years of service, John left the military to start a family and pursue business interests. During his time of service, John was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with 4 oak leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with 3 oak leaf clusters; as well as several campaign ribbons from tours of duty in the Middle East and Balkans. He also earned the Parachutist badge and is Airborne qualified.

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