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USCENTCOM senior enlisted leader retires following 33-year career

By By Sgt. Fredrick Coleman, U.S. Central Command

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MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Grippe, U.S. Central Command’s senior enlisted leader, closed the final chapter of his 33-year career during a retirement ceremony here June 27.

“'Hooah' is all I can say about my career. I’ve enjoyed the selfless service to my country and to the Army,” said Grippe, a Syracuse N.Y. native. “I just love my job.”

During his comments, USCENTCOM Commander Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III highlighted some of the units Grippe has served as the senior enlisted Soldier, including Multi-National Corps-Iraq, Multi-National Division-North in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Combined Joint Task Force Warrior in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and 101st Airborne Division.

“I think he’s the only command sergeant major to serve on every command level from battalion to combatant command and lead troops to combat,” said Gen. Austin, who presided over the ceremony. “The term 'a Soldier’s Soldier' is often overused, but it’s appropriate for this occasion”

Grippe’s personal decorations include a Purple Heart, four Bronze Stars medals for Valor, Defense Meritorious Service Medal and two Legions of Merritt. He has also earned a Ranger badge, Pathfinder School Badge, Combat Action Badge, and Master Parachutist Badge with bronze star. He has also earned British, Canadian, United Arab Emirates, Royal Jordanian, Korean and Royal Thailand Army Parachutist badges.

Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher K. Greca will replace Grippe as USCENTCOM’s senior enlisted leader.