Red Reeder was born on March 4, 1902, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on July 1, 1920, and was commissioned a 2d Lt of Infantry on June 12, 1926. His first assignment was with the 34th Infantry Regiment at Fort Eustis, Virginia, and later attended the Company Commander Course at The Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia, from September 1932 to June 1933. Lt Reeder served at Fort Clayton in the Panama Canal Zone from 1934 to 1936, and again from January 1940 to July 1941. Col Reeder served as a battalion commander and then Executive Officer of the 32nd Infantry Regiment of the 7th Infantry Division at Fort Ord, California, from August 1941 to July 1942, and then served on the War Department General Staff in Washington, D.C., from July 1942 to March 1944, serving in the Pacific Theater from October to December 1942. His next assignment was as Commander of the 12th Infantry Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division in England from April to June 1944, and then during the invasion of Europe from June 1944 until he was badly injured in combat and was returned to the U.S. in July 1944. Col Reeder was a patient at Walter Reed from June 1944 to September 1945, and then served as Commander of the 2nd Regiment of the Corps of Cadets at the U.S. Military Academy from October 1945 to October 1947. He then served as Assistant Director of Athletics at West Point from October 1947 until his retirement from the Army on August 1, 1948, and then as a civilian until retiring in 1967. The Association of Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy presented the Distinguished Graduate Award to Red Reeder in 1997. He died on February 22, 1998.
His Distinguished Service Cross Citation reads:
For extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy on 7 June 1944, in France. On the morning of 7 June 1944, his unit attacked enemy fortified positions, approximately 500 meters south-west of ******, ****** and captured these positions, advancing to ****** where the attack was temporarily held up by enemy forces in buildings and hedgerows in that vicinity. Colonel Reeder throughout the attack circulated amongst his men in the front lines encouraging and urging them forward, exposing himself continually to enemy small arms and shell fire. His utter disregard for his own personal safety, and his exemplary bravery were largely responsible for the rapid advance of his troops. Near ****** when Colonel Reeder noticed that a group of his men were hesitant about crossing an open field on the enemy flank because of small arms fire, he walked boldly into the open field with complete disregard for his personal safety. The men immediately got up, crossed the field following Col Reeder and established themselves on the flank of the enemy. This was an outstanding instance of leadership under fire and was to a great extent responsible for the swift ejection of the enemy from ******. Col Reeder's extraordinary coolness and personal bravery under fire when personally inciting his men to further effort were an inspiration to all who served with him and under him.