Major Cristeon "Chris" Griffin, USMC


Operations Officer, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines

Episode 2
Interviewer: Captain Joe Winslow
3/1 Headquarters, Iraq - October 28, 2004
Courtesy of the Department of Defense and the U.S. Marine Corps History Division


Colonel Griffin is from Mims, Florida and a graduate of Georgia Southern University. Following completion of Infantry Officer Course, he was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines at Camp Pendleton, California where he led a Rifle Platoon, the 81mm Mortar Platoon and served as Company Executive Officer, Weapons Company.

In 1999, Colonel Griffin was assigned to Company C, 4th Reconnaissance Battalion. He also attended Airborne School and Amphibious Reconnaissance School, where he was the Honor Graduate.

In 2002, he attended Infantry Officer Advanced Course, where he was a Distinguished Graduate. He was then assigned to 1st Marine Regiment, where he commanded Company A, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, his company participated in the initial ground assault from Kuwaiti to Baghdad, as well as four months of follow-on stability operations. Colonel Griffin was subsequently awarded the Leftwich Trophy.

Upon his return, Colonel Griffin was assigned as the Operations Officer, 3d Battalion, 1st Marines. The Battalion conducted counter-insurgency operations in the Al Anbar Province and was later the 1st Marine Division main effort in Operation Al Fajr, the November 2004 Fallujah assault.

In 2005, Colonel Griffin assumed command of Recruiting Station Fort Lauderdale. For three consecutive years the station earned the Commandant’s Superior Achiever Award.

In June of 2008, he reported to Marine Corps Command and Staff College and in June of 2009 was assigned to 5th Marine Regiment as the Operations Officer from June of 2009 to June 2011.

In June of 2011, Colonel Griffin assumed command of 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division. The Battalion Landing Team joined the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit for Western Pacific deployment from September of 2012 until May of 2013 during which time the Battalion participated in Exercises Eager Mace in Kuwait, Iron Magic I in UAE, and Red Reef in Saudi Arabia.

In August of 2013, Colonel Griffin reported to the Naval War College in Newport, RI. He graduated with Highest Distinction and was awarded the Captain James T. Larkin Award.

From July of 2014 until June of 2017, he served as a Branch Chief, Operations Directorate, United States Special Operations Command. Following his tour, he was assigned as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Recruiting, Eastern Recruiting Region, Parris Island, South Carolina.

Colonel Griffin’s personal decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with combat “V”, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star, three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, two with combat “V”, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Leftwich Trophy, and the Larkin Award. He holds Master’s Degrees in Military Studies and National Security Affairs.

Source: Department of Defense


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