Recla, 34, graduated from West Point in 2004 and became an aviation officer. Before returning to the school as an instructor, he served with 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, and deployed multiple times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the release states.

He served as an officer representative with the West Point Flying Team in addition to his instructor duties. According to information on the team's website, Recla amassed more than 950 flight hours, including 350 pilot-in-command hours, on various airframes including the CH-47D Chinook, variants of the OH-58 Kiowa and fixed-wing aircraft like the Cessna 182.

Kevin Lilley is the features editor of Military Times.

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