Derrek Schultheiss enlisted in the Army in July of 1988, and served two tours in Germany while on active duty; two years in Fulda Germany with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR), and two years in Wiesbaden Germany with the 12th Aviation Brigade. Upon completion of active duty service, he joined the Wisconsin Army National Guard (WIARNG) and was assigned to C Battery, 121st Field Artillery in Sussex WI, and then the 64th Rear Operations Center in Monroe WI. At the same time, he enrolled in college at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he earned his commission through their ROTC program. Upon commissioning, he was assigned to the 1158th Transportation Company, and then the 732nd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion (CSSB). In 2009-2010, he deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Upon his return from Iraq, he was assigned to the Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ) of the Wisconsin National Guard. He is currently a Major in the WIARNG and assigned as the Support Operations Officer for the 132nd Brigade Support Battalion (BSB), 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) out of Portage WI. Mr. Schultheiss has been with the Badger Battalion since June of 2006, and is currently the Senior Military Science Instructor at Maranatha Baptist University in Watertown, WI.
Name: Sergeant First Class Benintende
Duty Position: Military Science Instructor
Telephone: (920) 988-2647
Sergeant First Class Charles Benintende is Maranatha’s newest ROTC cadre member and a well-qualified 18-year Army active duty service veteran. He will be working with the ROTC cadets on campus for at least the next two years. He will be teaching Military Science at all levels, from freshman to seniors working side-by-side with Major Derrek Schultheiss on improving the state of physical fitness and the overall readiness of the Cadets before they join the “Big Army.” SFC Benintende is originally from St. Rose, LA; but, he has been stationed all over the U.S.: Fort Lewis, WA; Fort Knox, KY; Fort Bragg, NC; Camp Casey, Korea; Hohenfels, Germany; Grafenwohr, Germany; Fort Irwin, CA; and Camp Shelby, MS. SFC has also served in various units throughout his career: Armor, Infantry, and Special Forces; during which time he has completed the following military qualifications: Drill Sergeant, Special Forces Selection and Qualification Course, Airborne, Equal Opportunity Adviser, Expert on both 9MM and M4, Completion of SERE school, Combative Instructor, and Master Fitness Instructor. SFC Benintende has been deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan.
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.”