Timothy Fitzpatrick '71 was commissioned as an Infantry Officer from DePaul University Army ROTC in 1975 and started service as a Psychological Operations (PSYOP) Officer at Fort Bragg before becoming a rifle platoon leader, 81mm Mortar Platoon Leader, 4.2" Heavy Mortar Platoon Leader and Company XO in 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade 82nd Airborne Division. He also became a Jungle Expert in Panama with a unit training rotation there in 1978. "Myy Chicago blizzard survival skills came in handy when we jumped into Fort Drum from 800 feet at midnight in 40-below weather loaded down with 120 pounds of winter gear and snowshoes," Fitzpatrick recalls.
He was married to Karen Kirkman on March 17, 1979. "We were recalled from our honeymoon for a potential operation in Africa. We served in the Berlin Brigade in Occupied West Berlin. Berlin is, in fact, where I made my decision to join the Army while on our German-language study abroad with Fr. Aschenbrenner in 1970," Fitz continues. "I was on the staff and also an Infantry Company commander in 4th BN, 6th Infantry. Our twins, Danny and Timmy were born in the U.S. Army Hospital in occupied Berlin. I taught ROTC at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington from 1983-86, then deployed for a one-year tour in the Sinai Desert as the staff officer operations for the Multinational Force and Observers on the Egyptian Border with Israel. I returned to Fort Bragg in the G3, running training simulations and then became the Ground Liaison Officer to the 317th Tactical Airlift Wing at Pope Air Force Base after breaking my leg on a jump. I helped the Wing plan the airborne assault for the Ranger Battalion on Rio Hato and the 82d assault on Torrijos Tocumen Airport near Panaman City, launching that 82nd Airborne element during a rare ice storm at Pope."
Fitzpatrick also served as a Brigade Operations officer in Desert Shield/Desert Storm for which he was awarded the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service. "I then returned to PSYOP, writing several manuals and training all U.S. Army, sister service and allied PSYOP students," he explains. "Upon retirement I worked in modeling and simulation for Special Operations Forces, then in experimenting with new digital command and control systems, writing PSYOP Concepts, working in the US Army Special Operations Command Transformation Office and Irregular Warfare Working Group lead. "
In 2011 Fitzpatrick became the Deputy PSYOP Commandant, where he now serves as the senior Department of the Army Civilian. In addition to the Bronze Star Medal, he earned the Master Parachutist Badge, the Expert Infantryman's Badge and Canadian Parachute Badge. His civilian awards include the Department of the Army Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service. "I am a graduate of the senior service College of Naval Warfare at Newport Rhode Island, the Department of Defense Leadership Development Program, the DoD Executive Leadership Development Program (where I was also a Team Advisor/Facilitator for 12 years) and the Army Management Staff College.
"One of our twins, CPT Charles D. (Danny) Fitzpatrick is an 17-year Veteran of the North Carolina National Guard, having served two tours in combat in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, earning the Bronze Star Medal and Combat Infantry Badge. His wife CPT Shawna Sneller Fitzpatrick has two combat tours as a UH-60 Blackhawk Pilot and has earned an Air Medal. They also just welcomed into the world our first grandson, Asher Cullen Fitzpatrick," concludes the proud father and Grandpa.