The highest ranking enlisted soldier in the United States Army is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the upcoming Veterans Day Program at Veteran's Memorial Park in Tuscaloosa.

Sgt. Maj. Michael A. Grinston, originally from Jasper, Alabama, was sworn in as the 16th Sergeant Major of the Army on August 9, 2019. He first enlisted in the U.S. Army in October 1987.

"He has held every enlisted leadership position in artillery, ranging
from Cannon Crewmember to Command Sergeant Major," said VMPA Chairman Col. Duane Lamb. "He serves as the Army Chief of Staff's personal advisor on matters affecting the enlisted forces.”

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As Sergeant Major of the Army, Grinston is the Army Chief of Staff's personal advisor on matters affecting the enlisted force. He now devotes his time traveling throughout the Army to obverse training and interact with soldiers and their families.

He has accrued numerous awards and decorations including the Army Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal,
two Legion of Merit awards, two Bronze Star Medal with Valor awards, and three Bronze Star Medal awards.

He has also earned the Ranger Tab, Master Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Drill Sergeant Identification Badge, and Combat Action Badge.

This year's ceremony is put on by the Tuscaloosa County Park & Recreation Authority's Veterans Memorial Park Association, in conjunction with the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center and the University of Alabama Office of Veteran and Military Affairs.

The ceremony will begin on November 11 at 10 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park at 1701 McFarland Boulevard. The event is free and open to the public.

In case of rain, the ceremony will be moved to the Magnolia Shelter located one block south in Snow Hinton Park.

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