For Beaufort firefighter Capt. Reece Bertholf, “lifelong learning” is more than just a catchy phrase. A fulltime firefighter, Bertholf this month earned his Master’s degree in Business Administration from The Citadel’s Graduate College.
Last Saturday’s graduation culminated six years of hard work for Bertholf and his family.
“We are extremely proud of Capt. Bertholf, first because he is an outstanding person and an exceptional firefighter, but also because he set a goal to earn his MBA. Once he set the goal, he started marching toward it and this month, he reached that goal,” said Beaufort Fire Chief Sammy Negron.
“The more education we bring to the firefighting brotherhood, the safer we all will be. I commend Capt. Bertholf and his family for the sacrifices and long hours they put in for him to achieve this, and I encourage other firefighters to continue their education,” Negron said.
Bertholf holds an Associate’s Degree in Business and an Associate’s Degree in Fire Service Administration from the Technical College of the Lowcountry; a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina Beaufort, and now has his MBA.
His academic accomplishments include 2008 Business Division Honor Graduate TCL, Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, Class of 2008 TCL Student Commencement Speaker, Deans List 2009 USCB and MBA Citadel’s Graduate College with a 4.0 GPA. He is now also a member of the International Honor Society Beta Gamma Sigma.
Bertholf was born in Bemidji, Minnesota, and grew up and graduated high school in Ogilvie, Minnesota. Upon graduation from high school in 1997, Captain Bertholf enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, attending Recruit Training at MCRD San Diego and completed Combat Engineer schooling at Court House Bay, Camp Lejeune, NC, by the spring of 1998. Captain Bertholf’s service in the Marine Corps included time with Combat Assault Battalion in Okinawa, Japan, and with MWSS 273 in Beaufort. Bertholf was also a member of the 1999 Marine Corps Summer Pistol Team.
While still in the Marine Corps, Bertholf began volunteering with the City of Beaufort Fire Department in May 2000 until his honorable discharge from the Marine Corps in August 2001. That month he started his firefighting career with the City of Beaufort Fire Department and was assigned to Shift 1.
Captain Bertholf’s awards and recognitions include Academic Honor Graduate from USMC Combat Engineer School, Volunteer Firefighter of the Year for 2000, 2008 Business Division Honor Graduate TCL, Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, Class of 2008 TCL Student Commencement Speaker, and Deans List 2009 USCB.
Capt. Bertholf is married with two children.