Col. Luis A. Ortiz will assume command of the Pine Bluff Arsenal on July 18, replacing Col. Kelso C. Horne III, according to the Arsenal Sentinel, the publication for arsenal news and information. Horne has held the command since July 2016.
Ortiz is a native of Mexico City, Mexico, and earned a bachelor’s of art degree in chemistry from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, and a master of science degree in continuing adult education from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, as well as a master of science in strategic studies from the Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.
Ortiz enlisted in the Army in 1987 as a chemical operations specialist as a private first class. He was certified as an NBC reconnaissance specialist and was assigned to the 11th Chemical Company in Nellingen, Germany.
Ortiz deployed in support of operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield. Upon his return, he was assigned to 1st Infantry Division in Fort Riley, Kansas. He attended Officer Candidate School in Fort Benning, Georgia, and was assigned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he served as Battalion Chemical Officer (1/321 FAR).
Ortiz served as platoon leader and executive officers (21st CML Co) while at Fort Bragg.
After attendance to chemical officer advance course, he was sent to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where he served as 3rd Brigade Chemical Officers (101st ABD DIV ASSLT) and to command a support detachment (HHD 561 Support BN).
After a year at the University of Kansas, he was sent to command the Houston South Recruiting Company in Friendswood, Texas.
In 2003, Ortiz moved to be an observer/trainer for the Battle Command Training Program and to attend intermediate level education at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He was then assigned to HHB 101st ABD DIV ASSLT, where he served as future operations planner, headquarters battalion and battalion executive officer in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan.
In 2011, Ortiz was assigned to Fort Riley, Kansas, to be the 1st Infantry Division current operations officer and deployed in the same position to Bagram, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom XIII.
In 2013, he became the commander of the Radford Army Ammunition Plant in Radford, Virginia. Following his command, Ortiz was sent to Fort Knox, Kentucky, to be the Chemical Corps branch chief in human resources command.
After attending the Army War College, he was assigned to Fort Bragg as the XVII ABN Corps Protection and CBRNE chief.
He has received numerous awards and accommodations, including the Bronze Star.