Commander Serrato graduated from Officer Candidate School, Ft Benning, Georgia as a commissioned Infantry Officer in June 1966. His first assignment was as Tactical Officer at OCS. While at Ft. Benning he was assigned as Defense Counsel, Judge Advocate General’s Office. Serrato then attended the Jungle Warfare School at the School of the Americas, Ft. Gulick, Panama Canal in mid 1967 earning his Jungle Expert Patch. Late 1967, Al was sent to Vietnam and was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division, 1/5th Mech as Platoon Leader and Executive Officer. He earned his Combat Infantry Badge during combat missions with the 25th that included hand-to-hand combat. Serrato then volunteered to join up with the Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) I Corps conducting recon and ambush missions, training Popular Forces (PF’s) in ambush techniques - while suited in the uniform of a South Vietnamese Officer. CDR Serrato was featured in a Tropic Lightning News article on February 5, 1968 regarding his charitable actions.
Al’s first job started at the age of 13, shining shoes at a local barber shop to earn spending money. Prior to departing for Fort Polk, Louisiana for Basic Training, Al worked as a roughneck in the oil fields. Following his honorable Discharge, he worked as a financial analyst for the New York firm of Dun and Bradstreet. He attended graduate school at the University of California, Irvine and later was called upon to serve on a Presidential Think Tank during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. Serrato retired from the Long Beach Unified School District, California as Project Manager for new construction projects.
His volunteer activities include the following:
- Councilman (79-82) - City of Santa Ana, population 300,000
- Board of Trustees – Bowers Museum
- Warden – U.S. Embassy, Thailand
- District Commander – VFW Thailand/Cambodia
- Chaplain - American Legion Post 131, Santa Ana, Ca
- Judge Advocate - VFW Post 10694, Santa Ana.
CDR Serrato has been married to Lily Ann Serrato for 49 years. He has two sons and one granddaughter.
Deputy National CDR
My name is Joshua Rand-Castillo I have a total of 14 years as an Infantryman with 3/75th Ranger Battalion and 1-158th Infantry Regiment. Within my first year in the Army, I had my first Combat deployment under my belt in 2002 to Afghanistan - an experience of a lifetime as almost no one in the Army had seen combat and almost no one was walking around wearing a Combat Infantrymen's Badge. By the time I left active duty with the 75th Ranger Regiment I had two years of combat experience. I then did another 10 years in the Arizona Army National Guard developing inexperienced infantrymen. During this time I joined the Combat Infantrymen’s Association as a lifetime member after seeing a flyer hanging up.
Upon leaving the Army as the Headquarters Platoon Sergeant for B. Co. 1-158th Infantry I took my bachelor's degrees (Chinese History; Religion in China) and military knowledge to work for the Phoenix VA Hospital during its time of crisis. My time there was short as I moved on to take a role at U.S. Agency for International Development in Washington, D.C. It was in D.C, that I first volunteered as the Junior Trustee of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association. In this capacity I assisted the Senior Trustee Earl Kennedy and wrote articles for the Blue Badge Newsletter. During this time, I was able to learn more about the organization and help fill an operations role.
I then moved on from U.S Agency for International Development while simultaneously stepping up to fill the vacant Deputy National Commander role. I work for a Defense Contractor, but still working in the world of International Development. Much of my work is very transferable to the CIB Association; from database management, financial reporting, Standard Operating Procedures, writing reports to Congress and Senior department leaders.
Some of my hobbies are torturing my body through running, swimming, and bicycling. I also mentor young professionals in international development/ defense each year for five months; this gives me a great feeling similar to that of developing young Infantrymen. To better help you understand who I am please view my LinkedIn profile.
Chief of Staff
CSM (Ret) Fredrick Bourjaily grew up on the eastside of Detroit before joining the US Army in 1969. He served a tour in Vietnam as a sniper/scout with the 196th Light Infantry Brigade, earning his CIB there. He spent more than 30 years in the US Army/Reserves participating in Desert Shield/Storm, Nobel Eagle, Enduring and Iraqi Freedom, retiring in 2009 as a Command Sergeant Major.
Fred attended Oakland University graduating with a degree in Psychology. He worked 32 years for the Social Security Administration as a District Manager. Some his achievements: serving as president of the Chicago Social Security Management Association; Vice President of the National Council of Social Security Management Associations; President of the Flint, Michigan Area Federal Executive Association; President of the Licking County, Ohio AIDS Taskforce to name a few.
CSM (Ret) Bourjaily is a life member of the National Infantry Association, the Non-commissioned Officers Association, American Legion, NRA and 100th DIV Order of the Spur. Fred is married to Lori Bourjaily. They have two children. He was invested in 2015 at the Preceptory of the River Jordan, Priory of St. John the Baptist, Editeur le Sangraal. Catholic.
Richard did his undergraduate work at San Francisco State University, film 1976. He completed his graduate work at Stanford University in the Department of Communications 1977, and the University of California, Berkeley in The Department of Library Information Studies in 1988. He was instrumental in the creation of the African Museum and Library of Oakland, 1995, then joined the Berkeley Libraries for seven years before becoming Branch Manager of the Newark library in California. He then worked for the Orange County Public libraries - running a grant project interviewing veterans on “What it’s Like to go to War,” for California Humanities with support by the U.S. Institute of Museum Studies and Library Services while Manager of the Katie Wheeler Library in Irvine.
He served in the Army Reserves, Spec 4, MOS-55B20 - Army Ammunition Specialist and serves the Combat Infantrymen’s Association as a Support Member.
Tony Joined the Army on March 4, 1970. He received his Basic and AIT training at Ft. Lewis, Washington. His MOS was 11 Bravo. Tony’s division assignment was with the Americal Division. He received additional training with the 75th Ranger School at Chu Lai and was soon conducting Long Range Reconnaissance missions. He received his Combat Infantry Badge during a battle at Quang Ngai Province in the I Corp area of Vietnam. Upon receiving his Honorable Discharge, Tony returned to Poteet, Texas.
He began a career in the printing industry that was to last 30 years. He retired at the top of his profession as a Master Printer.
Tony is married to Maria and resides in Austin, Texas. They have two daughters, Monica and Bianka. Tony has been an active CIB member for 10 years. He is Company Commander of the new CIB Company, 104 -San Antonio, Texas
Mr. Williams, after completion of his One Station Unit Training (OSUT) located at Ft. Ord, California, served with Alpha Company, 2nd/506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile – Air Assault). He was stationed at Camp Evans located in the Republic of Vietnam during 1971 and 1972. Williams primarily patrolled the area between Firebase(s) Rakkasan, Ripcord and Jack.
Mr. Williams has been married to Paula Studebaker for 45 years.The family has grown from three daughters to include seven grandchildren. The oldest grandchild is twenty-one years and the youngest is nine weeks. He resides in Waxahachie, Texas where he entered and was discharged from active duty. He continued to serve as an infantryman with the Texas Army National Guard to fulfill his mandatory commitment.
Mr. Williams has over 40 years of civilian law enforcement experience in the university, municipal, county and federal levels. Mr. Williams began his career after his 1972 separation from active duty as an entry level patrolman and retired from the United States Department of Labor as a Senior Criminal Investigator in December 2012.
In this role as CIB Membership Officer, Williams aids the membership administrator primarily reviewing qualification documents for admission to the association.
He has served as Advisory Board Member to the American College of Law Enforcement Experts; Co-Author: Advanced Forensic Civil Investigations, Lawyers and Judges Publishers; Chairperson: National Certified Instructor’s Pro-committees, such as the Enron Fraud Task Force, etc. His primary expertise involves complex issues of negligence and financial crimes that violate federal laws and regulations. Further, after completion of numerous advanced programs located at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), Williams was certified as a Seized Computer Evidence Recovery Specialist (SCERS). These advanced training programs teach fundamental forensic techniques that assisted him involving computer research regarding information on individuals, partnerships and corporations.
Mr. Williams holds an associate degree in Police Science, two bachelor degrees in Criminal Justice Management and Criminology, and a Master of Liberal Arts/Humanities degree from Southern Methodist University. Mr. Williams has taught Criminal Justice/Criminology courses at the university level as an Adjunct Professor whereby he has written lesson plans for new subjects within his chosen discipline (NALI), and has participated in numerous government task forces.
Earl was commissioned as an infantry officer through ROTC. He served as an infantry platoon leader with the 2nd of the 506th, 101st Airborne Division, Delta Company in Vietnam. Lt Kennedy and his platoon were once featured in a Stars and Stripes article when they discovered a cache of VC weapons and equipment. That article can also be found in his collection. Earl was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions in Vietnam.
After leaving active duty he continued serving in the Army reserves and retired as a Major in the Military Police Corps. He has a Masters in Science in industrial management systems from West Virginia University and worked as a senior manager in the mining industry.
Earl has created an impressive, private personal museum that extends from the Revolutionary War to present time and includes weapons and mannequins in period uniforms with two army jeeps.
Earl is the first and only National Commander of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association to be elected by Write-In Ballot. He has served our association as Finance Officer and Senior Trustee and played a major role in restoring our association’s financial health. Earl has been awarded the prestigious Order of Saint Maurice recognizing his outstanding contributions to the infantry.
Junior Trustee CSM
Ted Jackson enlisted in the California National Guard on March 1954. Onward to United States Army in November, 1957 from New York City, New York. Ran away from home back to New York where he enlisted in the United States Army in November of 1955, Basic Training at Fort Dix N.J. Then to Fort Campbell and Jump School with the 11th Airborne Division. Got out at end of two years. Ted attended the Infantry School, graduating with an 11B MOS. Re-enlisted and had a number of assignments. Three tours in Germany, Two in Korea and Four in Vietnam. While in Vietnam on his first tour he earned his Combat Infantry Badge while assigned to the 1st Division, 1st Battalion 2nd Infantry Recon Platoon. From there he went on to join the Long-Range Reconnaissance Patrol. His next three tours were with USMACV teams 47, 66, & 89 doing about the same stuff.
His biggest Command was the 56th Field Artillery Command (Pershing) approximately 13.000 Soldiers. How he got there is a story that is hard to believe. He was always raising heck in the area with soldiers. This Colonel would stop him from time to time and ask “How is it going, Top.” Well this Colonel made Ted the Sergeant Major of a Battalion while still an E8. The Colonel left Fort Lewis and made Brigadier General. Ted made CSM. CSM Jackson got a phone call one day from Germany. It’s General Raymond E Haddock. He wants Ted to come over and be his CSM for all the Pershing Missiles in the U.S Army. Ted told him he didn’t know anything about a Missile, so General Haddock sent Ted to school at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Now, how is that for a GED grad! CSM Ted Jackson retired in 1988.
Remarking back on his career as a professional soldier, CSM Jackson stated that he loved every bit of being a combat warrior with the United States Army AND if he had to do it all over again … he’d do it in a heartbeat.
Dir. – Legislative Affairs
Jennifer Knowles is the Legislative and Public Affairs Analyst for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. Previously, Ms. Knowles served the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission as Legislative Director. The Commission was created to conduct a review of the military compensation and retirement systems. Prior to the Commission, she served as the Assistant for the Personnel Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee, providing support and research on military personnel policy and programs, including compensation, military retirement and benefits, military health care, and wounded warrior issues. She also assisted on markup and conference of National Defense Authorization Act, hearings and floor debate. Ms. Knowles started her career as a Staff Assistant for Senator Jack Reed (RI) and later as his Legislative Correspondent, preparing constituent correspondence related to Veterans’ affairs and foreign aid.
Ms. Knowles has a Masters in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, with a focus in irregular warfare and special operation forces. In addition, she has completed the Air Command Staff College and a certification with the National Defense University. She graduated from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia where she earned her B.A. in Political Science and International Affairs.
National Finance Officer
National Finance Officer Irwin Fischman was born and raised in Chicago, graduated from De Paul University with a Bachelor of Science Degree (Accounting major) and earned the degree of Certified Public Accountant from the University of Illinois.
He entered military service in November, 1952. Following basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, he was sent to Korea and assigned to the 25th Infantry Division during the Korean War.
His combat experience took place on a forward outpost on the western front of Korea, about 2 ½ miles forward of the Main Line of Resistance. The outpost was within shouting distance of the nearest enemy outposts. Missions included frequent defense of the outpost against determined enemy attacks, as well as night patrols for reconnaissance or ambush of enemy patrols.
After the end of the war, Fischman was transferred to the 558th Military Police Company in Seoul, assigned to guard the headquarters of General Maxwell Taylor. He returned to the United States in 1954 and was honorably discharged from the Armed Forces.
He resumed his civilian career in Public Accounting, ultimately starting his own firm and operating that firm for about 35 years, until his retirement in 1998.
Irwin has been a serial entrepreneur all of his adult life, starting and operating numerous businesses, including purebred cattle, printing, mailing & fulfillment, solar energy, private equity, and equipment leasing.
He is a life member of the Korean War Veterans Association, the 25th Infantry Division Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the National Rifle Association.
He was married to the late Arlene Fischman and has four adult children and one grandson.
Irwin has been the National Finance Officer of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association since August, 2016. Personal interests include golf, genealogy and Business activities.
Natl. Business Officer
I was born in Bari, Italy in 1943. Growing up in Italy my family owned two goats. My job was to milk them so my mother could make cheese. My father, Natale, decided to move the family to America including my mother, three brothers and two sisters. I was the youngest (11) who traveled with one sister and brother to the US in 1954.
The very first objective was to become an American, enroll in school and learn English. In 1962 I graduated from a vocational high school majoring in electronics. In 1963 I enlisted in the US Army -Europe. Basic training at Fort Knox on to Germany by ship. Assigned to 3rd Infantry Division in Schweinfurt. I was later assigned to two border camps on the East German border. I job trained for S3, ground surveillance, radar section and was awarded the MOS 113, later changed to 11F 26. After one year in Germany I was ordered to Ft Sheridan, IL. Seven months later on the move again to Ft Riley Kansas, home of the 1st Infantry Division 2nd battalion 28th Infantry. In September, 1965 the division went by ship to Viet Nam. My unit created a base camp at Lai Khe 35k northwest of Saigon. This is where I earned the CIB Badge – Operation El Paso II, the battle of Loc Ninh-Hill 177, June 11, 1966. I was discharged June 16 1966. Went home, grew a beard for a year and was not interested in a job. My oldest brother was a Mc Donald’s licensee so he drafted me to work for him. In 1976 he decided to sell his 3 units. I applied for a franchise myself and was approved for one in Italy. Having two kids I decided to stay in America. In 1978 my wife Rene and I decided to start a cheese business. The only thing I knew then about cheese was to eat it.
That small Mom and Pop cheese shop began developing a reputation for crafting the finest Italian cheese. In October 2019 the company received 3 awards (including one 1st place) at the World Cheese Awards competition held in Bergamo, Italy. It was our first entry in international competition. Our business experience and marketing strategies enables us to distribute our products worldwide and to provide 100 jobs at our factory located in Melrose Park, Illinois. We progressed the business by walking and not running.