Warrior Games Profile - Ryan Pinney

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(Editor's Note: From September 28 to October 4, more than 40 athletes representing the Air Force will be in Colorado Springs competing in the 2014 Warrior Games. This is a profile of one of those athletes, providing a behind-the-scenes look at who they are and the sport they represent.)


Name: Staff Sgt. Ryan Pinney (Ret.)

Team: Invictus and Warrior Games
Sports: Cycling, Track & Field, Swimming, Wheelchair Rugby and Wheelchair Basketball DOB: 10 Nov 1980
Birthplace: Phoenix, AZ
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Current Residence: Phoenix, AZ
Injury: Spinal Cord Injury of the T-12 Vertebrae

Personal Profile:

Retired TSgt Ryan Pinney enlisted in the Air Force 9 Feb 2001 as an Aerial Refueler. His first assignment was to Fairchild AFB, WA with the 96th Air Refueling Squadron. While with the 96th ARS, he deployed many times to Prince Sultan AB, Saudi Arabia, Al Dhafra AB, UAE, Al Udeid AB, Qatar and flew more than 200 combat sorties in a KC-135. In 2006, TSgt Pinney transferred from the active duty side of the Air Force and joined the 161 Air Refueling Wing with the Arizona Air National Guard. While with the 161 ARW, TSgt Pinney continued to deploy and fly combat missions. On 2 July 2012, TSgt. Pinney returned home from his last deployment. Ten days after he returned, he fell off a bicycle and encountered a spinal cord injury. He is currently going through physical therapy and continuing to recover from the injury that changed his life forever. While recovering, he joined Team Ride 430 to raise money for other wounded Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, and Airmen and helped the organization raise more than $430,000. He also participated in the ride and became the first person to complete the more than 380 mile ride on a hand-cycle.

Personal/Professional Achievements:

Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Medal
2012 Arizona Air National Guard Boom Operator of the Year 2012 Aircrew of the Year
Flown over 300 Combat Missions
2014 Invictus Games Gold Medalist – Discus and Shot Put