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7-Eleven CEO Appears in Ads for Army Recruits

DALLAS -- 7-Eleven President and CEO Joe DePinto is a television pitchman in the U.S. Army's new campaign to recruit 22,000 officer candidates over the next three years, according to a report in The Dallas Morning News.

"He'll rib me a little," the 7-Eleven executive was quoted by the newspaper, referring to his friend Col. Fred Manzo.

The colonel and other friends in Iraq and Afghanistan are a significant reason DePinto, a West Point grad, agreed to promote how "Army officership is a path to lifelong success."

DePinto is a former field artillery officer for the Second Armored Division.

The Army is "where I learned many skills that I still use today as a CEO," he told the newspaper. "Teamwork, selfless servant leadership, a can-do attitude, a sense of mission and purpose all are transferable every day in the business world. It's why I'm so adamant that we recruit those leaving or retiring from the military to work at 7-Eleven."

In the commercial, which began airing this week, the convenience store executive discusses his military and business experiences over footage of him driving to 7-Eleven headquarters here.

DePinto earned a bachelor's in engineering management from West Point. He was attracted to the academy as a high school hockey player during an East Coast trip with his team, he told the newspaper. "I fell in love with the place. Those cadets were larger than life to me," he said.

DePinto served as an Army officer from 1986 to 1991. He joined 7-Eleven in 2002 as a central U.S. division manager. In 2003 he was promoted to vice president of operations. After leaving for a brief stint as president of GameStop Corp., he rejoined 7-Eleven in 2005.

Last month, the nation's largest c-store chain unveiled plans to offer franchises at reduced costs to honorably discharged veterans. In 2007, 7-Eleven stores sold a music CD to raise money for the United Service Organizations.

DePinto donated his $1,000 payment for the ad, required by the Stage Actors Guild union, to the USO.

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