HOMETOWN HERO 11

Dave Tiehen Transitions from an Army Career to Command a Local Business

Tales of jumping out of planes and a fascination with the outdoors and adventure initially piqued Dave Tiehen’s interest in the military. But it was the intense training, leadership opportunities, and the real world mission of the war on terrorism that gripped him and took him around the world as a military officer serving tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Growing up, I was the kid always dressing up like a cop or a GI Joe,” Tiehen says. “I always wanted to do something in the military.”

Tiehen was born and raised in Kansas City. He attended Rockhurst High School and then Northwest Missouri State University, where he participated in the Army’s ROTC program. Following graduation, he was commissioned as an Intelligence Officer and stationed in Ft. Hood, Texas, where he served as an Assistant Battalion Intelligence Officer in the 1st Cavalry Division and later as Company Executive Officer.

A massive military surge against the Al Qaeda led insurgency in Iraq took place in 2007. In December 2008, Tiehen’s unit was deployed to Mosul in Northern Iraq for a one-year tour. Primarily serving on base, he provided intelligence briefs and reports to commanders and units on patrol about the area, describing the enemy, their tactics and local populations.

“At the time, Al Qaeda had largely been driven out of the capital city of Baghdad, but it still had a heavy presence in Mosul,” Tiehen says. “A lot of resources were focused to us, because we were in the spot where things were happening. It was Al Qaeda’s last stand.”

After serving for a year in Iraq, Tiehen received additional training stateside. He was then assigned to the role of Battalion Intelligence Officer in the 1st Infantry Division at Ft. Riley Kansas. His battalion was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 for an anticipated nine-month tour.

In Afghanistan, a health setback caused Tiehen to be medically evacuated to Germany. Doctors discovered a blood clot in his leg, prescribed blood-thinning medication and declared him not fit for active duty. After a six-year Army career, Tiehen was medically discharged shortly before he was hoping and preparing to take the position of Company Commander.

While awaiting his honorable discharge, Tiehen was torn in pursuing a civilian career path. After working in a very structured environment for his entire career, he chose to pursue an opportunity to work alongside his brother and a friend in a business venture that would allow him to be his own boss. Now Tiehen is a licensed real estate agent in Missouri and Kansas, and co-founder of LeasingKC.com, a free local rental listing website for the Kansas City area.

“I decided to see my medical discharge as an opportunity,” Tiehen says. “I never got to be a Company Commander in the Army, but now I’m running my own growing company by applying the leadership training and experiences I gained from my military career.”