Chris was born in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands to a single mother, but he was raised by his grandmother and great-grandmother. He credits his grandmother, Ethel Rey, for planting a strong seed of faith in him — giving him the foundation to serve people. He spent his formative years in Spring Lake, North Carolina. He graduated high school as a track and field All-American and a top scholar-athlete. He attended East Carolina University on a full athletic scholarship.
At the age of 22, Chris answered the call to serve his nation by enlisting into the U.S. Army as a Computer Information Technology Analyst. After two short years, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Signal Corps through the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School. Thereafter, he completed deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan while leading soldiers during multiple conflicts. His service and leadership in the Armed Forces earned him numerous military awards and accolades — including the Bronze Star and the Meritorious Service Medal. After 22 years of combined active Army and National Guard service, he retired at the rank of Major. As his last assignment, he served as the lead project officer who helped build the first cyber security headquarters for the U. S. National Guard.
In 2008, while a law student, Chris was elected as the youngest member of the Virginia Delegation to the United States Electoral College — where he officially cast the ballot to elect the President and Vice President of the United States. In 2011, Rey was the youngest person ever elected to serve as Mayor of Spring Lake, North Carolina, where he served three terms. During his time as mayor, he tackled major issues around infrastructure investment, economic development and fiscal responsibility.