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U.S. Army Reserve officer brings skills and passion to ARE EUCOM

By Sgt. Hector Rene Membreno-Canales | U.S. Army Reserve Element European Command | April 23, 2019

DEVANS, Mass. —

U.S. Army Reserve Lt. Col. Rena Patierno, a native of Staatsburg, NY, graduate of the University of Tampa and Walden University, recently joined U.S. Army Reserve Element European Command, 76th Operational Response Command, this winter. 

She brings more than 26 years of experience as a registered nurse specializing in intensive care and emergency medicine to ARE EUCOM as well as 18 years of military service in the United States Army Reserve as a Nurse Corps officer and civil affairs officer.

Patierno’s professional experience ranges from Medical Policy Officer at the Pentagon, Civil Affairs Reconstruction Team Leader in Afghanistan, Senior Clinical Educator at Fort Bragg’s Womack Army Medical Center and senior faculty for Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals Nursing Education Program.

Patierno credits her lifelong commitment to service to her parents.

“I was a direct commissioned officer into the nurse corps in June 2001,” said Patierno. “I was commissioned by my mother who herself was a Nurse Corps officer for 14 years.”

Patierno’s mother joined the Nurse Corps when she was 47 and made the decision to enter the Army once Patierno and her brother were finally old enough to help their father should she be deployed. 

“My dad served in the army after Korea and before Vietnam,” Patierno added. “He served with 1st CAV, the 82nd Airborne and did a tour in South Korea at the DMZ.

Between medical school, several deployments, working as a full-time nurse and serving in the Army Reserve, Patierno managed to also study a life-long passion of pastry art at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. 

When Patierno isn’t working as a cardiovascular nurse practitioner in Alexandria, VA, she finds great joy in baking gourmet pastries. 

“Food makes people happy,” she explained.

“I continue to bake and make pastries in my cousin’s restaurant in D.C.,” she said with a smile. 

Patierno thrives in fast paced environments, whether in an emergency room, restaurant kitchen, or the battlefield. 

“The bottom line is that leadership is about taking care of people and empowering them to be the best version of themselves,” said Patierno.

Patierno received the French National Defense Medal for her service in Afghanistan and also coached Division I swimming at Marist College between 1986-1987. She is excited to add value to ARE EUCOM through her experience and training. 

“I know I can ensure the readiness and deployability of the ARE.”

U.S. ARE EUCOM provides timely support to the combatant command and enhances its ability to conduct military operations. The more than 160 members of the unit provide international and interagency partnering to enhance transatlantic security and defend the United States forward.