MG Grimball

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Maj. Gen. John Berkley Grimball

Major General John B. Grimball was born and raised in Columbia, S.C. He graduated from Dreher High School, 1961, and The Citadel, 1965 (Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering).

In June 1965 he entered active duty in the U.S. Army. Initially assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division at Ft. Benning, Georgia, he completed the Infantry Officer Basic Course, Ranger School, and Airborne School. In Aug. 1966, he deployed to South Vietnam, where he was assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade, serving one year in-country as an infantry platoon leader and battalion liaison officer. He was next assigned to the U.S. Army Security Agency where – as an ASA project officer for two years – he monitored electrical engineering aspects of highly classified military research contracts.

MG Grimball left active duty on 30 July 1969 to enter law school, transferring into the U.S. Army Reserve. In Jan. 1973, he transferred into the S.C. Army National Guard, and served in the SCARNG until retiring 10 June 1997, after 32 years of unbroken military service.

SCARNG assignments included mechanized-infantry company commander, Commandant of the Palmetto Military Academy, Operations Officer for Troop Command, STARC-SC Mobilization Division Chief, and M-day Plans Operations and Training Officer for STARC-SC.

In 2005, MG Grimball reentered military service as a member of the Joint Services Detachment (JSD), serving as a legal officer in the Legal Directorate, as Director of the Legal Directorate, as JSD Deputy Commander, then since Dec. 2010 as JSD Commander.

MG Grimball is a graduate of the Infantry Officers Advance Course and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. His awards and decorations include: the Silver Star; Legion of Merit; Bronze Star Medal with “V” Device and Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC); United States Meritorious Service Medal with two OLCs; Army Commendation Medal with one OLC; Army Achievement Medal; Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal; S.C. Exceptional Achievement Medal; S.C. Meritorious Service Medal with one OLC; S.C. Homeland Defense Achievement Medal; S.C. State Merit Ribbon; and S.C. State Commendation Ribbon.

A career attorney, he served two years as Assistant State Attorney General, practiced privately for eight years, served 21 years as Assistant United States Attorney for the District of S.C., and presently serves part-time as an attorney for the S.C. Military Department.

MG Grimball is married to the former Carolyn Elizabeth Jones, and they reside near Hopkins, S.C. There are four children: Allan; Patricia; John; and Norah.


The Joint Services Detachment (JSD) is a State Defense Force military unit and is part of the organized militia of the State of South Carolina. It was organized in 1996 by South Carolina Adjutant General Stanhope S. Spears. The JSD’s present table of organization calls for 18 uniformed members, 12 associate members, plus such advisors as the Adjutant General may designate. JSD’s mission is to provide professional expertise and support for projects which materially benefit current military activities of the South Carolina Military Department (SCMD), and/or which promote the professional military image, historical stature, and reputation for reliability and achievement, of the SCMD. The JSD operates similarly to a civil affairs detachment. The 30 plus “citizen-soldier” members are comprised of academic, governmental and business leaders, and members of the military, medical, legal and financial professions. All JSD members are volunteers, all are proud of their service, and all are proud of the military uniform they wear. In short, the JSD is an organization where initiative, teamwork, leadership and expertise are bound together at many levels and across many disciplines, so to assist the SCMD assist and protect the citizens of South Carolina, and at no appropriated cost to the taxpayer. John B. Grimball Major General, JSD, SCMD Commander 5 April 2011

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