Mary Beth Reinhart
Chief of the Community Recreation Division
Served 1982 – 2005
Mary Beth Reinhart was born in Ripley, Tenn. She graduated from high school in Morocco and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Colorado.
Reinhart started her White Sands career in 1982 when she arrived to take over as Chief of the Community Recreation Division in the Directorate for Community Activities. She immediately stepped in to lead efforts to design, develop and open many new facilities that soldiers, civilians and families use.
New facilities included the Youth Services Activity, the Outdoor Recreation Equipment Issue Facility, and the lodge in Volunteer Park. In addition, she drove efforts to expand the Post Library, Bell Gymnasium and the Arts and Crafts Shop. Finally she remodeled the NCO Club, moving the recreation center program into the building, and renovated the Golf Pro Shop.
By 1994 she had made such an impact on the lives of people living and working on White Sands, she was presented the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service.
In addition to facilities at the missile range, Reinhart was at the center of many new programs. When the WSMR Organization Day was first held in the 1980s, she was there to make sure it became an annual event, one that continues today.
In 1985 she worked with the Department of Army to bring the U.S. Army Soldier Show to White Sands. The popular show returns annually with the venue now at Onate High School in Las Cruces that is better suited for the crowds and makes it very accessible for the local community. One of Reinhart’s most spectacular successes is the Bataan Memorial Death March. In 1992, difficulties at NMSU endangered the small march. Reinhart led the effort to bring it to White Sands.
The first march on the missile range drew only 120 participants. In the ten years after, she was key to expanding the event. It was because of Reinhart’s efforts the missile range was able to provide the hundreds of infinitesimal support details needed to host 4,000 marchers in 2002. Today it is even bigger.
Reinhart’s hall of fame nomination states, “She worked 18-20 hour days in the lead-up to the event and then continued that pace throughout the March weekend. Participants and volunteers will always remember Ms. Reinhart, clipboard in hand, churning through WSMR, executing detail after detail. She led and coordinated the efforts of more than 400 staff members and volunteers. Earlier she had contacted numerous commercial firms enlisting their support for thousands of dollars in sponsorships of cash or goods and services. She garnered volunteer and staff support for water points, registration, finish line timing and water activities, t-shirts, awards and food and beverages – all crucial to the success of the March; all coordinated and managed to the Nth degree by Mary Beth Reinhart.”
Reinhart retired from White Sands in January 2005. However, even in retirement she continues to play a role in the lives of people at White Sands.
She joined the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce and was named their 2009 Volunteer of the Year. Most of her volunteer service was dedicated to the support of White Sands Missile Range and its people.
She is also a member of the Board of the White Sands Club, an organization designed to enhance the lives of the people of WSMR and to provide scholarships for its young people. She is a past president of the White Sands Chapter of the Association of the United States Army and continues to support WSMR through AUSA activities.