Brig. Gen. Antonio Rodriguez Baliñas (Ret., US Army Reserve) died on September 20, 2011 at the age of 83 in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. He was born in Adjuntas on February 7, 1928. After graduating from Officer Candidate School, the 22-year old was assigned to the 65th Infantry as a 2nd lieutenant arriving in Korea in December, 1950 as part of the 65th’s first replacements. He was a platoon leader with the often-used Company “F” where he was wounded twice and also received two Silver Star Medals for his courage under enemy fire.
He was in the Army for 12 years of active duty then joined the Reserves in 1961. Rodríguez-Baliñas is considered to be the founding father of the Army Reserve forces in Puerto Rico. In 1973, then Col. Rodríguez-Baliñas took command of the 166th Support Group and was given full command and control of all units in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. One of his main achievements was to be able to have all the missions and functions of a major Army Reserve Command, achieving great control of the operations from the command post in Puerto Rico. Rodríguez-Baliñas retired in 1980 with over 32 years of service. He was buried at Bayamón National Cemetery with military honors. Reported by his son Wilson Rodriguez.