The Finest Traditions

A buzzworthy story, with an OSI connection, recently emerged from Southern California.

As first reported by the Long Beach Press-Telegram, a World War II veteran living in Rancho Palos Verdes was set to receive a military award more than 75 years after his service. Former private first class Ubaldo J. Ciniero, 95, earned the Bronze Star for his actions in WWII, but was never formally presented the medal—the fourth-highest award a service member can receive for a heroic and meritorious deed performed in armed conflict. The medal symbolizes sacrifice, bravery and honor in service of one’s country.

Ciniero was assigned to the U.S. Army’s 7th Armored Infantry Battalion, 8th Armored Division, the Press-Telegram explained. The division landed in France in January 1945 to take part in combat operations that would lead it through the Netherlands, crossing the Rhine River and advancing to the Harz Mountains of Germany. In 1995, the division was recognized by the U.S. Army’s Center of Military History and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum for liberating two concentration camps in April ’45. More than 5,000 inmates were in those camps, according to the Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Ciniero sailed back to the United States from England in September ’45 aboard the historic Queen Mary, which is now permanently moored and a tourist attraction just 15 miles from his home in Long Beach, CA.

When Ciniero finally received the Bronze Star on July 27 of this year, Grizzly Magazine, a publication of the California National Guard, was there to document the event. “Four hands grip the shoulders of 95-year-old Ubaldo ‘Joseph’ Ciniero, a World War II veteran, helping him stand from his wheelchair to receive a Bronze Star Medal,” Grizzly reported. “Silence fell over the small group gathered for the award ceremony.”

“Ciniero’s exemplary performance of duty in active ground combat was in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit and the Army of the United States,” announced an emcee, before U.S. Army Brigadier General Michael Leeney pinned the medal to the lapel of Ciniero’s coat and saluted him.

Southern California’s Daily Breeze newspaper and National Media Outlet Fox, News also covered the story.

Clients of OSI and those familiar with the outsourcing company will, no doubt, recognize the name “Ciniero.” The recently fêted war veteran is the father of OSI part-owner and president Joel Ciniero. In fact, the award ceremony may never have taken place if not for Joel’s curiosity.

“I found [my father’s] name on an 8th Armored Infantry website, and I noticed he’d been awarded the Bronze Star,” the younger Ciniero explained to Grizzly. He investigated further and discovered that his father had never been officially awarded the medal.

 “In my whole life, he’s just my dad. And today I realized my dad’s a hero,” Joel told Grizzly during the ceremony. “It was like, Wow! I got to tell you, I get a little bit emotional about it.”

The word “hero” gets tossed around pretty lightly these days. In fact, we’ve used it to describe our 200 employees, citing the sacrifices they make for clients, how they balance work and their personal lives, and the myriad challenges they’ve overcome in their homeland El Salvador, where OSI is based. Like the Army, we value honor and tradition, and we believe there’s a lot to be learned from private first class Ubaldo J. Ciniero’s story: the nobility of patience, the quiet allure of humility and the importance of getting the job done, whether you’re recognized for it or not.

Today, we offer our own salute to Mr. Ciniero. As Grizzly concluded, “He is a hero. By the definition, by those that love him and, now, by the metrics of the U.S. Army’s award system.”