The Military College of South Carolina
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About Maj. Gen. James A. Grimsley Jr.

Maj. Gen. James A. Grimsley Jr., U.S. Army, Retired
16th President of The Citadel 1980-1989
President Emeritus 1989-Present



Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, The Citadel, 1942
Master of Arts in International Affairs, George Washington University, 1964
Executive Management Program, University of Pittsburgh, 1968


The U.S. Army Infantry School, 1942 and 1951
The U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 1955
The Armed Forces Staff College 1959
The National War College, 1964

Academic Honors

Honorary degree in humanities, Francis Marion College, 1987
Honorary degree in humanities, The Citadel, 1989
Honorary degree in education, Charleston Southern University, 1991

Military Decorations, Awards and Service Medals

Combat Infantry Badge (two awards)
Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star Medal for Gallantry (two awards)
Legion of Merit (four awards)
Bronze Star Medal (Valor) (four awards)
Purple Heart (three awards)
Air Medal (six awards)
Joint Services Commendation Medal
Army Commendation Medal (three awards)
American Theater Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Theater Campaign Medal with three Battle Stars/Arrowhead
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation (Germany) Medal
National Defense Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster
Philippine Liberation Ribbon
Republic of Vietnam Commendation Medal with 60 Device
Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm
Philippine Distinguished Unit Citation with Star
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with two Bronze Service Stars
Philippine Legion of Merit

Military Assignments

  • World War II, served as rifle company commander and on the battalion staff of the 3d Battalion, 307th Infantry, 77th Infantry Division, in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater where he was twice wounded during combat action on Guam, in the Philippines and on Okinawa.
  • 1945-1948 inactive duty
  • 1948 to 1950 company commander and regimental S3 with the 2d Infantry Regiment at Fort Jackson, South Carolina
  • 1950-1951 attended the Infantry School
  • 1951 to 1954 served in company, battalion and regimental assignments with the 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division in the U.S. Army, Europe.
  • 1954-1955 attended the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and was assigned to the Office of the Comptroller of the Army at the Pentagon.
  • 1958, attended the Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, Virginia.
  • 1959 January to 1960 May, served with the Military Assistance Advisory Group in Vietnam.
  • 1960-1963 assigned to Fort Lewis, Washington and served with the 4th Infantry Division as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3 and as Deputy Battle Group Commander in the 8th Infantry Regiment.
  • 1963-1964 attended the National War College in Washington, D.C. and also received the degree of master of arts in international affairs from George Washington University.
  • 1964 June - 1966 May assigned to France where he served with Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe.
  • 1966 June, Special Assistant to the Deputy Commanding General, U. S. Army, Vietnam.
  • 1966 December to 1967 April 1, when wounded in action, he commanded the 2d Brigade, 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam.
  • 1967 July, Chief of the Far East and Pacific Division, Operations Directorate, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations the Department of the Army Staff in the Pentagon.
  • 1968 December, Executive to the Undersecretary of the Army.
  • 1970 January, Assistant Division Commander, 2d Armored Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
  • 1970 August 1, promoted to brigadier general and served with the 2d Armored Division until June 1971.
  • 1971 August, Chief, Joint U.S. Military Advisory Group--Philippines, as a member of the U.S. Country Team under the U.S. Ambassador and the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific.
  • 1974 February, returned to the Pentagon for duty on the Army Staff as Director of Doctrine and Organization and, subsequently, Deputy Director for Requirements.
  • 1974 July, Director, Security Assistance Plans, Policy and Programs, Office Assistant Secretary of Defense/International Security Affairs.
  • 1974 August 1, promoted to major general.
  • 1975 September 1, retired from active duty.

Civic Awards and Honors

Silver Beaver Award, Boy Scouts of America, 1978
"Man of the Year," Association of Citadel Men, 1978
Honorary Life Member, Association of Citadel Men, 1980
Distinguished Public Service Award, SC Department of the American Legion, 1984
Good Citizenship Medal, National Department of the Sons of the American Revolution, 1987
Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary Club of Charleston, 1988
Order of the Palmetto, State of South Carolina, 1989
Sergeant William Jasper Freedom Award, SC State Chamber of Commerce, 1989
Socie'te' Francaise de Bienfaisance Medal of Honor, 1990
Malcolm D. Haven Award, Trident Community Foundation, 1992
Joseph P. Riley, Sr. Leadership Award, Trident Chamber of Commerce, 1994
Mary E. Prior Leadership Award, SC Historical Society, 2000
Book of Golden Deeds Award, Exchange Club of Charleston, 2005

Civic Leadership Positions

President of Coastal Carolina Council (BSA), Charleston Rotary Club, Trident United Way and Campaign Chairman, South Carolina Historical Society, Youth Services Charleston, Florence Crittenton Programs.

Chairman of the Palmetto Project, the Foreign Affairs Forum-Charleston, the Hundred Club of Charleston, South Carolinians to Limit Congressional Terms, and the American Cancer Society. Chairman of the committee from May-December 2000 which established the Lowcountry Center for Graduate Studies.

Member of the Board of Directors of the Trident Chamber of Commerce, the Charleston Development Board, the Charleston Museum, Youth Service America, the Salvation Army, Charleston Day School, and the Air Force Association, Technical System Foundation Board

Appointed to the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education, with the advice and consent of the State Senate, by Governor Carroll Campbell in May 1990 and reappointed by Governor Beasley in 1997 for four years. General Grimsley also served on the Charleston Education Network for Public Education.


Honorary member of the Society of the Cincinnati and the Washington Light Infantry.

Member of the Association of the United States Army, the American Legion, and the Military Order of World Wars, the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, the Sigma Iota Rho International Relations Honor Society, and the Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Fraternity. Since 1973 he has been listed in Who's Who in America. He and his family are members of St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Charleston where he has served as a vestryman, senior warden and as a trustee of the parish.

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