Captain Eric Grant, U.S. Army National Guard

2019 U.S. Missile Defender of the Year

CPT Grant enlisted into Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1-265th Air Defense Artillery (ADA) in 2007 as an Air Defense Tactical Operations Center Operator/Maintainer. After reaching the rank of Private First Class, he attended ROTC at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Air Traffic Management while receiving his direct commission and appointment to Second Lieutenant in the Florida Army National Guard. CPT Grant previously served as a Platoon Leader and Executive Officer with Charlie Battery, 1-265th ADA, where he was deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan in 2015-2016 for the Counter-Rocket Artillery and Mortar (C-RAM) mission. CPT Grant successfully led his Battery to become the first National Guard Battery to intercept incoming Indirect Fire in Afghanistan. In May 2016, CPT Grant was transferred to Bravo Battery, 1-265th ADA, where he currently serves as the Air Defense Battery Commander deployed in the European Command (EUCOM) in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve and the European Deterrence Initiative. Bravo Battery 1-265th ADA uncased their unit’s flag and colors in Grafenwoehr, Germany on June 20, 2019, as being only the third National Guard Unit to provide Air Defense to Eastern Europe since the Cold War. As the Active Component cannot yet meet Short-Range Air Defense (SHORAD) requirements, Bravo Battery 1-265th ADA was tasked to support in the interim. Here, the unit is entrusted with providing pivotal SHORAD coordination for the Regionally Aligned Force (RAF) rotations and NATO forces in Europe. CPT Grant currently serves as a Strategic Criminal Analyst with the Florida Army National Guard Counterdrug Program and is assigned to the Central Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (CFHIDTA) in Lake Mary, Florida. He currently resides in Deland, Florida with his wife April and daughter Arianna. CPT Grant’s military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, National Defense Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, NATO Medal, Army Service ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Florida Counterdrug ribbon, Florida Service Medal, Florida Commendation Medal, Florida Meritorious Service ribbon, Florida State Active Duty ribbon w/ three Oak Leaf Clusters.

Defenders of the Year