The Bayonet

Wednesday, Dec. 04, 2013

New Infantry chief takes command

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Col. Robert Choppa assumed command of the United States Infantry School Nov. 15. Choppa graduated from Siena College, earning a bachelors of science degree in management.

He enlisted in the Army with his twin brother and commissioned through Officer Candidate School as an Infantry officer.

Upon completion of the Infantry Officer Basic Course and Ranger School, he served as a platoon leader and executive officer with 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment. Next, he served as a platoon leader, executive officer and personnel officer of 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning.

From there, he served as commander of A Company, 3rd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, and the 10th Mountain Long Range Surveillance Detachment at Fort Drum, N.Y.

After field grade staff assignments, he commanded the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, at Fort Lewis, Wash., and then the 171st Infantry Brigade at Fort Jackson, S.C.

During his last assignment, Choppa served as Manuever Center of Excellence chief of staff. He has served on several operational and training deployments at the platoon, detachment, company, battalion, brigade, division, corps, and Army level.

He has served in various worldwide assignments in Canada, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and in the Arctic. Choppa’s continued military education includes the Canadian Land Force Staff Course, USMC Command and Staff College, Army Command and General Staff College, Joint Advanced Warfighting School and Joint Staff Officer Course.

He also earned a degree in Joint Campaign Planning from the National Defense University and completed the National Military Strategy Fellowship from the Maxwell School of Government, Syracuse University.

Choppa’s awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal with six oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal with six oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Army Superior Unit Award with two oak leaf clusters, National Defense Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Iraqi Campaign Medal with Combat Star, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Air Assault Badge, Ranger Tab, Expert Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Military Free Fall Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder Badge and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

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