Co-Chief of Staff – John A. McReynolds, US Navy Reserve (HM2) (ret) 

Americans like John A. McReynolds are inspiring for all of us.

He has been strong in tough places. When missions like Desert Storm called, he answered. Our Town will always be proud of his service, compelling story, and most of all his Bronze Star.

Today he gets a new honor: Wellesley Celebrations Committee, a standing committee of the Select Board, Town of Wellesley honors John A. McReynolds as its Co-Chief of Staff
Wellesley native John McReynolds served as a Hospital Corpsman in the US Naval Reserve from 1987 until 1995.

John attended Wellesley Public Schools and the University of Massachusetts, ultimately enlisting into the US Naval Reserve. After completing Navy Basic Training in San Diego, CA, he transferred to the US Navy’s Basic Hospital Corps School at Balboa Naval Hospital, where he graduated at the top of his class with Honors and Distinction in May 1988.

He detached from active service and was assigned to Naval Reserve Center, Quincy, MA. In 1989, he was assigned to the Marine Corps Reserve Unit at Camp Edwards, on Cape Cod, MA, where he provided medical support to the First Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment (1/25, ‘New England’s Finest’).
During the summer of 1990, John earned the Fleet Marine Corpsman specialist rating during training at Camp Lejeune, NC. In November 1990, after Saddam Hussein’s army invaded the country of Kuwait, the battalion was mobilized to join the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force in Camp Lejeune, and on New Year’s Eve 1990, flew to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Shield. Within a short period, the battalion was redeployed to join the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force further North and crossed the border into Kuwait on the first day of the ground campaign of Operation Desert Storm.

John was attached to a squad of Marines whose mission was to locate and detain enemy prisoners of war. While collecting a group of approximately 200 enemy POWs in the Al Burqan oil field that the enemy had set on fire, McReynolds, his squad, and the POWs came under a barrage of artillery fire and were pinned down. During the bombardment, John, a Marine Corporal, and several POWs were wounded, some mortally.

Despite his own wounds, John went to the aid of, and treated, the wounded Marine and some of the POWs. For his actions under fire, Hospital man McReynolds was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor by the United States Marine Corps, and for his wounds was awarded the Purple Heart.

After recovering from his wounds and returning to the US, John was invited to be among the first advisors to a joint services medical training unit at Westover Air Force Base organized by Marine Colonel Douglas Kulig, and then later went on to serve as the Platoon Corpsman for the 1/25 Reconnaissance/Scout Sniper platoon before his discharge from the Navy as a Petty Office Second Class (HM2).

John has since worked for the past 30 years as a cyber security expert, and lives in Natick with his wife Cynthia, where they raised two children.

Thank you, John McReynolds, our celebration is a tribute to you and those who serve

May 18th & 19th, 2024