Iván Castro

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Iván Castro
Captain Iván Castro
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Department of the Army Seal.svg United States Army
Years of service1988-present
RankUS-O3 insignia.svg - Captain
UnitSpecial forces
Battles/warsOperations Desert Storm and others
AwardsPurple Heart
Meritorious Service Medal
Army Commendation Medal

Captain Iván Castro[1] (born 1967)[2] is a U.S. Army officer who did not leave the Special Forces after becoming blind. He is one of three blind officers who currently serve in the U.S. Army and the only blind officer in the United States Army Special Forces.[3] Castro believes in helping wounded fighters return to a normal life, and has talked to Congress about this. He takes part in marathons and other races.

Early years[change | change source]

Castro was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. His parents were from Puerto Rico.[2] In 1979, when he was 12 years old, he moved to Puerto Rico with his mother.[2][4] After finishing military training, Castro went to university in Puerto Rico. While he was a student he went to many sports running competitions. After four years of university, Castro joined the US Army. He later trained to become an officer.[5] He was blinded during combat in Iraq; while serving in 2006.

Marathons[change | change source]

Captain Iván Castro guided by Major Phil Young runs the Army Ten-Miler.

Castro is still active as a sportsman even after recovering from debilitating injuries during his army service. He previously trained with Major Phil Young, who was his leader in the United States Army Special Forces. The audiences often encourage Castro for his determination.[6] He now trains with Lieutenant Colonel Fred Dummar, who is his Battalion Commander. Together Castro and Dummar have completed several marathons.

Awards[change | change source]

Castro has earned many awards. Some of them are as follows:

Medals and Awards
  • Purple Heart ribbon.svg  Purple Heart
  • Meritorious Service Medal ribbon.svg  Meritorious Service Medal
  • Joint Service Commendation ribbon.svg  Joint Services Commendation Medal
  • Army Commendation Medal ribbon.svg  Army Commendation Medal
  • Army Achievement Medal ribbon.svg  Army Achievement Medal
  • Army Good Conduct ribbon.svg  Army Good Conduct Ribbon
  • National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg  National Defense Service Medal
  • Armed Forces Expedtionary Medal ribbon.svg  Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
  • Southwest Asia Service Medal ribbon (1991-2016).svg  Southwest Asia Service Medal
  • KosovoRib.svg  Kosovo Campaign Medal
  • Afghanistan Campaign ribbon.svg  Afghanistan Campaign Medal
  • Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary ribbon.svg  Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
  • Global War on Terrorism Service ribbon.svg  Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
  • Army Overseas Service Ribbon.svg  Army Overseas Service Ribbon
  • NCO Professional Development Ribbon.svg  Non-Commissioned Officer Development Ribbon
  • Army Service Ribbon.svg  Army Service Ribbon
  • NATO Medal Non-Article 5 - Operations in the Balkans.png  NATO Medal
  • 60px (soldier)  Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabian)
  • Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait) ribbon.svg  Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
  • United States Army and U.S. Air Force Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg  Presidential Unit Citation
  • Joint Meritorious Unit Award ribbon.svg  Joint Meritorious Unit Award
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg  Meritorious Unit Citation
  • Valorous Unit Award ribbon.svg  Valorous Unit Citation
  • CIB2.png  Combat Infantryman Badge with Star
  • Expert Infantry Badge.svg  Expert Infantryman Badge
  • US Army Airborne master parachutist badge.gif  Master parachutist badge
  • Pathfinder.gif  Pathfinder Badge
  • AirAssault.svg  Air Assault Badge
  • USASOC Military Free Fall Parachute Badge.jpg  Military Freefall Parachutist Badge
  • DrillInstructBadge.gif  Drill Sergeant Identification Badge
Foreign badges
  • Fallschirmspringerabzeichen der Bundeswehr in Bronze.jpg  German Parachutist Badge
  • Dutch Parachutist Badge
  • Columbian Jumpmaster Badge
  • SpecForces.gif  Special Forces Tab
  • Ranger Tab.svg  Ranger tab
  • US Army Special Forces SSI.png Army Special Forces

References[change | change source]

  1. "Soldado ciego Hispano sirve en unidad de elite de EEUU" (in Spanish). Puerto Rico: Terra Puerto Rico. July 2, 2010. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Nordlinger, Jay (2009-02-09). "Captain Extraordinary". 61 (2). National Review: 16–17. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. "Special Forces Soldier, Blinded in Battle, Determined to Keep Serving". Fox News. Associated Press. June 30, 2008. Retrieved December 3, 2008.
  4. Zoroya, Gregg (November 13, 2007). "Blinded by war: Injuries send troops into darkness". USA Today. Retrieved December 3, 2008.
  5. Brackett, Charmain Z. "Hispanic Heritage Program". The Signal. Fort Gordon, Georgia. Retrieved December 3, 2008.
  6. "Welcome Home — CPT Ivan Castro". Patriot Guard Riders. September 2008. Archived from the original on April 15, 2013. Retrieved December 3, 2008.