2017 Conquering Kili Class
U.S. Army Veteran
Major Ivan Castro (retired) enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1988. While serving as an enlisted man he held the positions of rifleman, team leader, squad leader, platoon sergeant, drill sergeant, operations NCO, and Special Forces weapons sergeant during his multiple deployments to Bosnia, Albania, Kosovo, South, and Central America.
Castro was injured on September 2, 2006, while serving as a scout platoon leader in the 82nd Airborne Division during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Castro sustained life-threatening injuries and was blinded in both eyes when mortar shells landed near him killing two men in his unit. Castro defied the odds by battling back from his injuries, remaining on active duty, and subsequently becoming the first blind graduate of the Maneuver Captains Career Course at Fort Benning, GA.
Since his injury, he has completed a number of ultra-marathons, triathlons, and marathons. In 2013, Castro was also selected to be part of an international team of injured service members joined by Prince Harry and trekked 200 miles across Antarctica to reach the South Pole, making him the only blind American to ski to the South Pole.
Retired from the U.S. Army, he is now part of a private consulting company that will host team building and resilience seminars for corporate clients and the Co-Author of Fighting Blind.
Each new Conquering Kili class accepts the challenge to embark for the summit, a walk that represents the miles that many African women journey on a daily basis to fetch water for their families. While training for the climb, each team member works to raise funds and transform communities through the gift of clean water.