Reinado was captured by the Indonesian military (TNI) during their invasion of East Timor in 1975, and served as a porter for TNI in Sulawesi and Kalimantan.
He escaped to Australia in 1995 as one of 18 Timorese refugees who fled in a leaky boat and was detained at the Curtin Immigration Detention Centre in Derby, W.A. He later worked in the shipyards in Western Australia. After the referendum in which East Timor voted for independence, Reinado returned to the country to captain a tugboat owned by Rooney's Shipping. On the request of the Timorese government, Reinado entered the military of East Timor (Falintil-FDTL, or simply FDTL) and was appointed commander of the Naval Unit (which consists of two patrol vessels donated by the Portuguese Navy).
- "In July 2004, Alfredo was removed as commander for getting into a fight with the police, and the following year was sent to a three-month naval training course at the Australian Command and Staff College. He reportedly became involved with a junior female Timorese soldier there and was disciplined on return by being removed from the navy and given command of the military police, a distinct downgrading." The already existing break between Alfredo and his commanding officers worsened, so that there may well have been personal factors that drove him to desert in early May 2006, in addition to outrage over F-FDTL actions.
However, due to his acerbic style, he was eventually transferred to the Army headquarters in the capital Dili by Brigadier-General Taur Matan Ruak, the commander of the FDTL.
Reinado's father and sister live in Australia. Over several years, Reinado travelled to Australia to receive military training from the Australian Defence Force, studying defence management in October 2003 and emergency management in August 2004. In 2005 he completed a three-month navy training module at the Australian Command and Staff College in Canberra. Reinado has also received training from the Portuguese military and the Brazilian military. He was eventually assigned to the military police, where he was in charge of a platoon of 33 troops.