Grinston currently serves as the senior enlisted leader for U.S. Army Forces Command — the service’s largest command and provider of expeditionary land forces.
He is a combat veteran who has been awarded two Bronze Stars with Valor and who has served in every leadership position from team leader to division command sergeant major, the service said in a press release.
He will succeed Sergeant Major of the Army Daniel Dailey, who has served in the role since January 2015. Grinston will be sworn into his new role during a ceremony at the Pentagon on Aug. 16, 2019.
“I look forward to working with Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Grinston,” Secretary of the Army Mark Esper said in the release announcing the change. “The Army is in the midst of a renaissance, and he is a great choice to carry on our readiness, modernization and reform efforts.”
During a six-hour firefight in Bayji, Iraq, Grinston earned one Bronze Star with Valor after braving a barrage of rocket-propelled grenades while running from vehicle to vehicle to give orders because the radios weren’t working, according to a 2005 Stars and Stripes article detailing the fight.
He earned his second Bronze Star with Valor during a separate patrol that was ambushed in Iraq during which he rallied his troops and counterattacked, killing 10 insurgents and wounding 10 more with no casualties to his own forces, Stripes reported at the time.
Grinston’s deployments include two tours each to Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, as well as Desert Shield, Desert Storm and to Kosovo, the release stated.
He also served as the senior enlisted leader for the Army’s first deployment of a division headquarters, with 1st Infantry Division, during Operation Inherent Resolve from October 2014 to June 2015.
Inherent Resolve is the multi-national coalition fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
“Congratulations to Command Sgt. Maj. Grinston and his family,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said in the release. “He is a world class leader who stands out among our exceptional Noncommissioned Officer Corps. He is the right Noncommissioned Officer to lead our Army into the future.”
During his tenure as the command sergeant major of FORSCOM, Grinston was a key enlisted leader in the development of training and preparation of combat units for global missions — an increasing challenge for the service as it sustains current readiness levels and builds out its force in an era of great power competition.
“Command Sgt. Maj. Grinston is the right leader,” Dailey said in the release. “He possesses all of the character and leadership qualities necessary to lead our NCO Corps into the future, and he will continue to serve the best interests of our Soldiers, their families and the Army.”
In his new role, Grinston will act as the Army chief of staff’s personal adviser on matters affecting the enlisted force. He will be responsible for recommending quality-of-life improvements to Army leadership and will sit on numerous councils that make decisions affecting Army families, the release stated.
Grinston will routinely testify before Congress on these issues, as well as serve as the public face of the Army’s NCO Corps to the American people, the release stated.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to continue to serve the great Soldiers and families of the United States Army,” Grinston said in the announcement.
Grinston’s awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, two Legions of Merit and five Bronze Stars — two of which have Valor devices.
He has earned the Ranger tab, Master Parachutist badge, Air Assault badge, Drill Sergeant Identification badge, the Combat Action Badge and has attended every level of the Noncommissioned Officer Education System. He’s also a graduate of the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant School and the Equal Opportunity Course.
Grinston has a bachelor of arts degree in business administration from the University of Maryland University College. He is married and has two daughters.
Kyle Rempfer is an editor and reporter whose investigations have covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.