New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Awards 2012
Recognizing Those Committed to Making a Difference
Jerry W. Grizzle, PhD
Major General Jerry W. Grizzle was recruited to New Mexico Military Institute in 2009 to stem a 10-year decline in enrollment, and to prepare the school for its accreditation review by the North Central Association’s Higher Learning Commission (HLC). In only his second year as president and superintendent of the school in Roswell, NMMI realized a 15.25 percent increase in enrollment; and in 2011, the school successfully passed the accreditation effort by meeting HLC requirements in all five measurement criterion, with no follow-up reports or visits. NMMI’s college division received a 10-year accreditation, the maximum length. Additionally, this year’s average ACT composite scores for the high school division were at an all-time high.

General Grizzle, Ph.D., is retired from the U.S. Army National Guard. He served as a member of an advisory panel for a Department of Defense initiative to improve the nation’s ability to respond to incidents in the U.S. involving weapons of mass destruction. As deputy commander for the 45th Infantry Brigade of the Oklahoma National Guard, General Grizzle commanded the Guard’s response to the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City; and to the devastation caused by the tornado that struck the central part of the state in 1999.

The General’s direct, hands-on experience in disaster response led to his selection to serve on active military duty in the wake of the events of Sept. 11, 2001. As such, General Grizzle was named as the first commander of the DoD Joint Task Force – Civil Support, the only U.S. military unit charged with responding to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction. He commanded the organization for four years, establishing its mission and presence at such functions as inaugural ceremonies and the 2002 winter Olympics held in Salt Lake City.

A hallmark of General Grizzle’s tenure is the extensive involvement of faculty, staff and members of the Corps of Cadets in service clubs and community activities, such as Rotary, Kiwanis and Altrusa. Indeed, cadets perform community service as an educational requirement, involving themselves with the elderly and reading to grade-school classes, for example.

If one needs further proof that General Grizzle is a well known and respected member of the community, know this: He was recently chosen as the Elks Citizen of the Year for Chaves County, another star on the flag of Jerry Grizzle’s service to his nation, to his state, and to his community.