- Cold War Era
Steve Aiello was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1946. Steve graduated Cum Laude from Bishop Hendricken High School in Warwick, Rhode Island where he played baseball, worked on the yearbook staff, the newspaper, prom committee, and participated in the Math Club. He entered the University of Rhode Island with the class of 1969. While at the university, he was a member of the baseball team and House Manager for Phi Mu Delta Fraternity. He enrolled in the Army ROTC program and was a Distinguished Military Student as well as a member of the ROTC Scabbard and Blade Society. He graduated in June 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts in teaching science and received a commission in the US Army Reserves.
Colonel Aiello started his military career as a Military Police (MP) Platoon Leader in the 705th MP Company, Rhode Island Army National Guard (RIANG). He then moved to the 115th MP Company, RIANG and was selected to be the Company Commander. Following command, he was assigned to the 43rd MP Brigade as the Counter Intelligence Officer, which required a change from the Military Police Branch to the Military Intelligence Branch. After becoming the Brigade Intelligent Officer, he became the assistant operations and training officer where he provided Military Police support to the State of Rhode Island during hurricanes, snow storms, sniper operations, and strikes at the Institute of Mental Health.
He then successfully commanded the 118th MP Battalion, RIANG; from which he was assigned as the Operations and Training Officer of the MP Brigade. In this capacity, he planned and supervised the brigade support to major international level exercises which deployed troops and equipment to Europe. His next assignment was that of Deputy Commander, 43rd MP Brigade. Colonel Aiello’s technical competence and superior knowledge of military police doctrine and operations distinguished his performance of duty as the Brigade Operations Officer and Deputy Commander. His ability in planning and coordination resulted in many successful unit deployments to Europe and Asia in support of conventional and special operations. He retired as Commandant of the Rhode Island Military Academy in 1993. Colonel Aiello served 24 years in the Rhode Island National Guard.
Colonel Aiello is the epitome of the Citizen-Soldier. His civilian teaching career began as a science teacher at Bain Junior High School in Cranston, Rhode Island. He moved to the high school level where he taught Biology, Anatomy, and Physiology for 17 years. His next position was teaching a National Award-winning, cross-age teaching program in substance abuse education referred to as “Peer Education.” Retiring from teaching after 32 years, he took a position at the local YMCA as Fitness Director, a position he held for seven years; and for the last 11 years, he has volunteered at the Providence Veterans Hospital as a dispatcher for veterans who need rides to the hospital.
Steve’s civilian graduate level education includes two Masters’ degrees, one from Rhode Island College in Education, and the second, a Master of Science from Salve Regina College. He has earned over 100 credit hours in the areas of health and fitness. His military education degrees include the Army Command and General Staff College, the Naval War College and the Army War College.
Colonel Aiello’s military awards include: Legion of Merit, Rhode Island Star, Army Commendation Medal with 4 Oak Leaf CIusters, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Army Reserve Ribbons, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with 4 Oak Leaf CIusters, Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon with Numeral Il, Humanitarian Service Medal, Rhode Island Emergency Service Ribbon with 2 Oak Leaf CIusters, and the Rhode Island National Guard Service Medal with 15-year device. He also has earned the National Youth Leadership Forum Service Award and the Presidential Lifetime Volunteer Achievement Award. These achievements and awards have brought great pride to Colonel Aiello and his family.
Colonel Stephen Aiello and his wife Paula live in Cranston Rhode Island. He has spent his entire life serving his community and nation during peace and war. His exemplary devotion to duty and outstanding leadership are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon his country, his family and the University of Rhode Island.