Sergeant First Class Charles Benintende is Maranatha’s newest ROTC cadre member and a 17-year Army active duty service veteran. He will be working with the ROTC cadets on campus for the next three years.
Q: What will you do here at Maranatha?
A: I will be teaching Military Science at all levels, from freshman to seniors. I will be working side-by-side with Major Derrek Schultheiss on improving the state of physical fitness and the overall readiness for the Cadets before joining the “Big Army” (so to speak).
Q: Where are you originally from?
A: I am originally from St. Rose, LA.
Q: Can you tell us about your family?
A: My mother and father are from Louisiana as well. My mom passed away in September of 2012. She was everything to me. I miss her so much. My dad is still living. I have two sisters and a brother. My wife’s name is Dana, and she is the love of my life. My sun and moon rise and fall with the love she gives to me on a daily basis.
Q: Where have you been stationed throughout your career?
A: I have been stationed at Fort Lewis, WA; Fort Knox, KY; Fort Bragg, NC; Camp Casey, Korea; Hohenfels, Germany; Grafenwohr, Germany; Fort Irwin, CA; and Camp Shelby, MS, to name a few.
Q: What units have you served in?
A: I’ve served in Armor units, Infantry units, and Special Forces units throughout my almost 18-year career.
Q: Have you been deployed, and to where?
A: I’ve been deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Q: What kind of military qualifications and training have you earned?
A: Drill Sergeant, Special Forces Selection and Qualification Course, Airborne, Equal Opportunity Adviser, and expert on both 9MM and M4 throughout my career. SERE school, Combative Instructor, and Master Fitness Instructor, to name a few more.
Q: What has been your favorite assignment?
A: Here at Maranatha, of course.
Q: What has been your greatest lesson learned throughout your career?
A: There are many different people who make up this world from many different walks of life. I have been blessed to be able to adjust my leadership style and abilities to get through to each of them I had to lead. I know that, through the Lord and the ability He has shined upon me, I can accomplish anything by staying positive and remembering who I am really here to serve. I don’t take anything for granted.
Q: What are your plans for Maranatha ROTC while you are here?
A: I want the ROTC program to be the very best it can be. There are many great Cadets in the program and many more to come. I want to work as hard as I can to bring the credit upon them that they deserve. Maranatha is a great place to learn not only the fundamentals of life but the foundations that a person should start from in their journey through the years. I will not rest until I leave or this program is the very best in our Battalion and the state of Wisconsin.