Event to Honor Retiring Master Sgt. Rodolfo Blain

An ROTC awards presentation honoring Master Sgt. Rodolfo Blain, who is retiring after 22 years of service in the U.S. Army, will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, May 6 in Pickford Auditorium.

Blain, currently the senior military science instructor for the Army ROTC program at Claremont McKenna College, entered the Army in 1982 and received his basic combat training and advanced individual training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. His military education has included instruction in primary leadership development, basic noncommissioned officers and advanced noncommissioned officers courses, drill sergeant school, and first sergeant and battle staff courses.

Blain says he wouldn’t trade his time served in the military for “anything in the world.

“The Army is, and always will be, my family,” he says. “But just like a senior in high school or college, it is time that I leave the comforts of home and venture out into the world.”

During his enlisted career, Blain has served overseas in Germany and Korea, as well as stateside posts at Fort Sill, Fort Riley, Ks., and Fort Hood, Tx., in a variety of leadership capacities including cannoneer, gunner, chief of section, gunnery instructor for officer basic and advanced courses, gunnery sergeant, drill sergeant, senior drill sergeant, chief of firing battery, and first sergeant.

Lt. Col. Jeff Douville, professor of military science and leadership at CMC, describes Blain as “among the absolute best non-commissioned officers and trainers” he has served with in his 21 years of active military service. “He connects with soldiers and cadets like few others I’ve served with,” Douville says of Blain. “They trust him, they listen to him, and they want to be as good as him. This respect and admiration really speaks to his competency, commitment, and passion for serving soldiers, cadets and our Army over the past 22 years.”

Blain was named Drill Sergeant of the Year in 1993. Numerous other awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the NCO Development Ribbon, and the Overseas Ribbon.

“We’re really proud of Master Sgt. Blain and the 22 years he has sacrificed for soldiers and our country,” Douville says.

Director of alumni relations Elenor Taylor says Blain also has been a good friend to the alumni association and the alumni relations office. Three years ago, he set up the first Reunion Target Shoot, which has become a popular event at Reunion Weekend for both ROTC graduates and alumni who have never been to the shooting range before.

“We will miss his booming voice,” says Taylor, “and also, his ability to smell pastries from across the campus!”

Blain says the professionalism of his colleagues has been helpful preparation for future successes. “I also thank my wife of 22 years, and my family, for all the love, sacrifice, and dedication they have shown me and my career,” he says, “as well all the great soldiers that I have served withand the future ones that I am serving with nowfor their support and comradeship.”

Upon retiring, Blainan Alta Loma residentwill have more time to spend with his spouse, Sarita, and their two sons, Rodolfo Alexander and Daniel Adam.