This is about the journey of a Marine’s transition from a career spanning almost three decades of service back to the civilian world he came from.
The reason I am writing it is because I am that guy, and I am in the midst of the surprisingly lengthy process of transitioning from a great career in uniform to a new life back in the outside world. Unfortunately it isn’t proving to be as easy as I had envisioned, and as a result I am going through a considerable amount of adventure learning to figure it all out. This blog is a travelog of sorts to share the metamorphosis and hopefully help others who are now transitioning or do so in the future.
I try to post once or twice a week, so happy reading and wish me luck!
For anyone interested in my military career bio, here it is:
LtCol Grice enlisted in the Marine Corps reserve in 1984. Upon graduating from MCRD San Diego, he served in Battery P, 5/14 in Aurora, Colorado as a Field Artillery Fire Controlman and Artillery Operations Chief, ultimately obtaining the rank of Staff Sergeant. He was with the battery until he graduated from the University of Colorado and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1992.
Upon commissioning, he reported to The Basic School, where he graduated with honors, was the recipient of the Class Leadership Award and was meritoriously augmented into the Regular Marine Corps. He then reported to 3d Battalion, 11th Marines in 29 Palms, California. He served as a forward observer and assistant fire direction officer before his assignment to Fort Sill as a student in the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course. Upon graduation with honors, he returned to 3/11, where he served as a Fire Direction Officer, platoon commander, battery executive officer, and battalion Maintenance Management officer.
(Then) captain Grice reported to Fort Sill as a Gunnery Instructor in 1996. He instructed both the Officer Basic and Advance courses, and after this assignment he was posted to Quantico to attend Amphibious Warfare School. Upon graduation with honors he served as a tactics instructor at Officer Candidate School.
After finishing his stint as an instructor at OCS (then) captain Grice reported to 2d Battalion, 11th Marines, where he served as the battalion logistics officer and commanding officer of Battery E. As a battery commander he deployed with BLT 2/5 to Okinawa and the 31st MEU (SOC), where he participated in humanitarian assistance operations in East Timor and was the recipient of the Leftwich Trophy. Upon his return from deployment, he reported to the 11th Marine Regiment’s operations section as the assistant regimental operations officer.
In July 2002 (then) Major Grice reported to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego for duty as the Executive Officer of 3d Recruit Training Battalion and as the Director of Drill Instructor School. He then reported back to Camp Pendleton, where he joined 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company as a Brigade Platoon Commander. Upon completion of Tactical Air Control Party school he deployed with his platoon to Ar Ramadi, Iraq, in support of the 2d Marine Division as it conducted combat operations in Al Anbar province. Five months after returning from Al Anbar, he and his platoon were again deployed to Ar Ramadi, this time in support of I MEF (FWD). Upon completion his second combat deployment, he reported to 5th Battalion, 11th Marines as the executive officer. During this tour he deployed to Qatar and Afghanistan with Special Operations Command, Central, and served in the Theater Special Operations Component Liaison Element in Kabul.
Upon his return from Afghanistan, LtCol Grice was assigned as the Expeditionary Fire Support Branch Chief at Expeditionary Warfare Training Group, Pacific aboard the Naval Amphibious Base, Coronado, California. On 1 July 2009 he assumed command of 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company located in Camp Pendleton, California. During his tenure as the commanding officer, the Company deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in addition to reintroducing ANGLICO Supporting Arms Liaison Teams to the west coast Marine Expeditionary Units.
On 22 April 2011 he turned over command of 1st ANGLICO and was temporarily assigned to the 11th Marine Regiment, where he was responsible for establishing training procedures to Target Mensuration, Joint Fires Observers, and Joint Terminal Attack Controllers. He retired on January 1st, 2012 after over 27 years of service in the Marine Corps.
He has received numerous awards and decorations, which include the two Bronze Stars, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat V, and the Combat Action Ribbon. He is a member of the Artillery Ancient Order of Saint Barbara and the Cavalry Order of the Gold Spur. In addition, he is a recipient of the Leftwich Trophy. He has also received numerous writing awards, including the Chase Essay, Hogaboom Leadership award and the Geiger Aviation writing awards.
Since retirement he has started his own leadership consulting company called The Decisive Leadership Group and has earned a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Southern California’s Marshall Business School.
LtCol Grice is married to the former Cheryl Alaimo, PhD, of Norwich, New York. They have two children and reside in Encinitas, California.