Lionel Ortiz Santini comes from a Puerto Rican family with a strong tradition of service in the US Army. Beginning with his grandfather Nicolas Santini, who served in World War 1, over twenty nine Ortiz and Santini men have served in World War 2, Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War, Desert Storm, and the Global War on Terror. Lionel’s son Daniel and nephews Joshua and Steven currently serve as enlisted soldiers.
Following in the steps of his oldest brother Oscar, Lionel graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1983 as a distinguished cadet and with a degree in mechanical engineering. He was commissioned and trained as an Armored Cavalry Officer and after completing airborne, ranger and air assault courses, was stationed in West Germany with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. While serving in the Blackhorse Regiment, Lionel was selected to lead and train two teams competing in the Boeselager Cup, one of two prestigious NATO competitions in the Cold War era. In 1987, his team was the first US Army team to win the overall event.
Following his five years of active duty, Lionel built a career in the medical-surgical and pharmaceutical industries, culminating as President of Irrimax Corporation (2003-2011), a medical device start up company. In those years, he was active in the West Point Society of South Florida, serving as President, Vice President and board member. He was the Society’s Admissions coordinator from 1999 to 2009, assisting over 150 South Floridians gain admission to West Point. Some of these individuals served in Iraq and Afghanistan and remain on active duty. From 2007-2010, Lionel returned to duty as an active reservist and served with US Southern Command in Miami as an Anti-Terrorism and Force Protection officer.
Lionel is now the founder and principal engineer of Whiskey Lima Corporation, a freelance HVAC/IEQ field engineering firm. He and his wife Wendy, a pharmaceutical executive, live in Coconut Creek with her sons Jackson and Cole. Lionel’s daughter Cosima is an attorney with People’s Trust Insurance Company and lives in Boynton Beach with her husband Chris and daughters Hayden and Isabella. SGT Daniel Ortiz is stationed in Fort Carson with his wife Cristina and children Bradley and Cillian.