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October 1, 2009

ULM alum/retired U.S. Army Colonel to speak on “Origins of Jihad” Oct. 13

Colonel John Reitzell (Ret.), a 1969 graduate of the University of Louisiana at Monroe, will return to campus at 3 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 13 in Stubbs Hall, Room 100, to give a presentation entitled “Origins of Jihad.”

The ULM Office of the President is hosting the event; co-hosts are the department of political science, along with the College Republicans and College Democrats.

The ULM campus family and the general public are invited to attend the lecture, which is free.

His presentation covers Middle Eastern history, from the death of Mohammad to 9/11, focusing on the rise of terrorism. He’s delivered his presentation at several universities around the country including University of California at Berkley, DePaul University, Bucknell University, Auburn University, Florida State University and the University of North Carolina.

After graduating in 1969, Reitzell entered the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant and began a 28-year career. His experiences in various command and combat missions, as well as time spent at the Air Force Academy and the U.S. Army Infantry School, took him around the world.

His experiences are even inspiration for popular novelists Tom Clancy and W.E.B. Griffin.

In his book, “Shadow Warriors,” Clancy chronicled Reitzell’s participation in a standoff when terrorists seized an Italian cruise ship, the Achille Lauro. Griffin has dedicated his “Presidential Agent” novel series, which focus on international terrorism, to Reitzell.

Following his retirement in 1997, Reitzell settled in Huntsville, Ala., where he works for Dynetics Inc.

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