Major General John S. Grinalds, USMC, Ret (1997-2005)
General Grinalds was born in Baltimore, Maryland on January 5, 1938. He graduated with honors from West Point in 1959 and was the first cadet since 1814 to be commissioned directly into the US Marine Corps. He continued his education as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, earning a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Geography and graduating with honors. At Harvard University, he earned a Master's degree in Business Administration, graduating with distinction.
General Grinalds served abroad in the Mediterranean region, the Panama Canal Zone, Japan, Belgium, and for two tours of duty in Vietnam. He was awarded a Silver Star for heroism in combat. In Belgium, he was the Special Assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe working on negotiations between NATO and the French Military. His outstanding service was recognized by French President, Francois Mitterand, who inducted him into the Legion d'Honneur.
In 1989, General Grinalds was promoted to Commanding General of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, a position held until his retirement. In 1991, he became the Headmaster of Woodberry Forest School in Woodberry Forest, Virginia. In 1997, he accepted the position as President of The Citadel.