Commanding Officer, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323
Lieutenant Colonel Justin C. Grissom

Lieutenant Colonel Grissom was born in Arlington, Texas. He enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves in 1999 and reported to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. Private First Class Grissom graduated recruit training as the Company Honorman and was assigned as an infantryman to 2d Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division. He graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance in 2002 and received his commission through the Platoon Leaders’ Course program.

Second Lieutenant Grissom completed The Basic School and was subsequently assigned to flight training. He completed flight training at NAS Pensacola, FL, NAS Whiting Field, FL, and NAS Meridian, MS where he was winged as a Naval Aviator in February 2006. First Lieutenant Grissom was then assigned to VFA-125 for transition to the F/A-18 Hornet in July 2006.

In June 2007, First Lieutenant Grissom reported to MAG-31, MCAS Beaufort, SC. He was assigned to VMFA-115 where he served as the Ground Safety Officer, NATOPS Officer, Schedules Officer, and Powerline OIC. During this tour, Captain Grissom deployed with the Silver Eagles to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM 08-01 from March to September 2008 and to the Western Pacific from September 2009 to March 2010 in support of the Unit Deployment Program. Prior to departing the squadron, Captain Grissom attended the Tactical Air Control course in preparation for his follow on service as a Forward Air Controller.

Captain Grissom reported to 2d Marine Special Operations Battalion in August 2010 and was assigned to Marine Special Operations, Golf Company, where he served as the Company Air Officer and Assistant Operations Officer. Captain Grissom attended the MAWTS-1 Air Officer Course and subsequently deployed with Golf Company to Herat, Afghanistan from June 2011 to February 2012 in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.   

In June 2012, Captain Grissom joined VMFAT-101 in MCAS Miramar, California where he served as an Instructor Pilot, Schedules Officer and Flight Officer.

Captain Grissom moved down the flight line and reported to VMFA-314 in June 2013. He graduated from WTI 1-14 and served as the squadron’s Pilot Training Officer. Major Grissom deployed with the Black Knights to Bahrain in support of RFF 1200 from March to October 2014, flying in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE. Upon his return from the deployment, Major Grissom attended the Special Operations Terminal Attack Controller Course.

In July 2015, Major Grissom reported to the newly redesignated 1st Marine Raider Battalion where he served as the Battalion Air Officer. He deployed to northern Iraq as the Special Operations Task Force – North (SOTF-N) Air Officer from November 2016 to April 2017 in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE.

Upon completion of his refresher syllabus with VMFAT-101, Major Grissom reported to MAG-31 and was again assigned to the Silver Eagles of VMFA-115. He deployed with the squadron to Bahrain as part of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command (SPMAGTF-CR-CC), flying in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE from March to October 2018. Lieutenant Colonel Grissom deployed again with the Silver Eagles from March to June 2020 in support of the Unit Deployment Program. During this tour, Lieutenant Colonel Grissom served as the Operations Officer, Aircraft Maintenance Officer, and the Executive Officer.   

Lieutenant Colonel Grissom reported to MAG-11 in August 2020, and assumed command of VMFA-323, the Death Rattlers, on 9 April 2021.

Lieutenant Colonel Grissom’s personal awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal (one Individual Action, 11 Strike/Flight), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (w/ “C” device, fourth award), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon (second award).

3rd Marine Aircraft Wing