Reginald A. Centracchio was born in West Warwick. He enlisted in the R.I. National Guard at 17 and graduated from Officer Candidate School five years later. He is the only adjutant general from Rhode Island to serve his entire career within the Rhode Island National Guard.
During the Cold War years, he served as a Battery Commander for Rhode Island missile sites and held several key staff positions, including Platoon Leader, Field Artillery Tactical Intelligence Staff Officer and Adjutant; Recruiting and Retention Manager; Plans, Operation and Military Support Officer; Director of Personnel and Administration; and Director of Plans, Operations and Training.
Former Governor Lincoln Almond appointed Centracchio the Adjutant General for the State of Rhode Island and Commanding General of the Rhode Island National Guard in 1995. In 1996, Lt. General Centracchio was appointed Director of the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency. Following the creation of the Rhode Island Homeland Security office in 2001, Governor Almond appointed Centracchio advisor the office in Washington, DC.
While serving as Adjutant General and Commanding General of the Rhode Island National Guard, Major General Centracchio’s oversaw training, equipping, and deployment of 3,500 troops in support of Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom. This represents the largest deployment of Rhode Island National Guard Troops since the World War I.
Lt. General Centracchio has won numerous military awards and commendations, including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal with six Oak Leaf Clusters, and the National Defense Service Medal.
He retired from the National Guard in 2005 and turned his attention to politics, where he ran for Lt. Governor in 2006. He received the Republican Party’s endorsement.