NEWS | Oct. 22, 2018

Generations of Service

By Spc. Adam Parent U.S. Army Central

For some of the Soldiers in the U.S. Army their reason for volunteering to serve is more personal than a regular call of duty, serving their country is a family affair. Lt. Col. Daniel Rempfer, U.S. Army Central's Forward Headquarters Deputy Chief of Protection, is one of these Soldiers.

For decades members of his family have served in different branches of the military, working in a multitude of jobs and places all over the world. During World War II Daniel Rempfer's grandfather and three of his grandfather's brothers served in a variety of capacities in the U.S. Army.

With USARCENT's 100th birthday approaching soon Daniel Rempfer realized he had a unique connection to the organization; his great-uncle Pfc. Harry Rempfer served in Third Army as a heavy mortar gunner in Hotel Company, 314th Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division, Third Army.

“They served at the tip of the spear,” said Daniel Rempfer. “Uncle Harry and the rest of the guys in the 79th ID, Third Army, they didn't always have it easy.”

The 79th ID landed on Utah Beach, Normandy, from June 12-14 and soon advanced deeper into France. Over the next six months Harry Rempfer fought with the 79th ID across France and into Germany until he sustained an injury on Jan. 4, 1945, and was moved to an aid station. While he was recovering from his wounds the medical site was overrun by enemy forces, and Harry Rempfer was captured and spent the remainder of World War II as a prisoner of war.

“It's an amazing thing to have been held in captivity, an amazing thing to stand true to your values and to make it home after the war,” said Daniel Rempfer. “And I truly believe that's service of the highest honor.”

The next generation of men in Daniel Rempfer's family also served their country; two of his uncles on his mother's side of the family served in the military, with one of them fighting in the Vietnam War. Daniel Rempfer's father also served in the military from 1964 to 1971 as a light wheeled vehicle mechanic, and this legacy of service had a profound impact on him when he was attending Villanova University.

“I thought, gosh, everyone in Pop-Pop's generation served, and my dad served, and my mom's two brothers served,” said Daniel Rempfer. “And I thought, ya know I gotta keep this going.”

Daniel Rempfer joined the Army through the Reserve Officers' Training Corps program at Widener University and has continuously served for the past 21 years. He is a military police officer by trade but his career has taken him all over the world and he has served in many different positions, ranging from a battle captain to a professor.

The Rempfer family is continuing that service, and not just through Daniel's career; he had the opportunity to swear his wife Jannette into the Army this year when she commissioned directly into the Medical Corps.

“Here we've got the newest Rempfer in the Army and she went on active duty just one week prior to her 42nd birthday,” said Daniel Rempfer. “It's an incredible thing to be a part of a dual military family.”

Daniel and Jannette's continued service speaks volumes about the dedication the Rempfer family has for service. And while Daniel Rempfer never had the opportunity to meet Harry Rempfer because he had passed away before Daniel's birth, his service in Third Army has given him a connection to his great-uncle that spans across lifetimes.

Daniel Rempfer said, “It's really interesting to know that I'm serving in a unit not only with a great lineage and history in of itself, but one that also has personal history to it.”