July 15, 1998

Grimes Promoted by Chief Of Staff of the U.S. Army

by Sgt. J. P. St. John
Massachusetts Public Affairs

FORT PICKETT -- Army National Guard Annual Training this year was very, very special for Pfc. Laura B. Grimes of Damascus, Maryland. It was during that Annual Training that Grimes was promoted to Specialist.

The special part of that event was who officiated at the promotion. The Chief of Staff of the Army, General Dennis Reimer, departed from his briefing on OPERATION CHINDIT, to pin on the new rank insignia of Specialist for Grimes.

PFC Grimes gets promoted to Specialist by the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army

CHINDIT is a multi-state exercise involving some 5500 soldiers of the 29th Infantry Division (Light) and is taking place at Forts Pickett and AP Hill in Virginia.

"I was totally surprised," said Grimes. She said she knew that she was eligible for the promotion, but had no idea that the event would take place during Annual Training and that the four-star general who is Chief of Staff of the Army would be the one pinning on the new rank. "It was an awesome experience," Grimes stated. "Thatís the only way I can describe it."

Grimes, 18, is the daughter of Benton and Stephanie Grimes of Damascus. A 1997 graduate of Damascus High School, she is a second semester freshman at Towson University. Grimes said that she is using the benefits made available to her through the Nation al Guard to pay for her college education.

As to the future, she said she plans to go law school and Office Candidate School as she continues her career in the Guard. She said "This is my first annual training experience and itís been a tremendous learning experience."