Richard Renner arrived in Los Alamos shortly after being drafted into the Special Engineer Detachment in 1945, after the war had ended. Renner worked as a firefighter at Los Alamos, stationed by the top-secret S-Site, where bombs were assembled.
He served in the Army from October 22, 1945 to November 20, 1946. For ten months of this time he served as a firefighter at Los Alamos.
Renner’s experiences in Sante Fe influenced his passion for Latin American studies. After the war, he obtained a Master’s Degree in Latin American studies from the University of New Mexico and became a professor at the University of Florida.