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CJ Grisham: A Life of Leadership

CJ is a retired Army First Sergeant and Counterintelligence Special Agent. CJ was born in Temple, Texas but spent most of his life traveling the world as a Navy dependent. During his summers, he returned to Temple to work on his grandparents’ farm. The grandson of a World War II bombardier and belly gunner over Germany and the son of a Vietnam War-era anti-submarine warfare specialist, CJ’s service to this country is well-rooted in the examples and values passed down through generations.

CJ met his wife, Emily, while living in Japan and attending the same high school. They fell in love immediately and married shortly after graduation. Together, they have three incredible children: Anissa, 21, attending Oklahoma State University; Chris, 19, attending Temple College and hoping to transfer to Brigham Young University; and Hannah, 15, a sophomore at Troy High School. CJ serves as his church’s finance clerk and as a Sunday school teacher. He is an unapologetic Christian who is guided in everything he does by a caring and attentive Holy Spirit with scripture as his roadmap and that only through Christ’s atoning sacrifice can man be saved.

CJ joined the Army as a Spanish Signal Intelligence Voice Interceptor (Linguist) and conducted several missions in Ecuador and Panama. After the USS Cole bombing in 2000, he decided that he wanted to do more to defeat radical, Islamic terrorists and became a Counterintelligence Special Agent. In 2002, he deployed to Kuwait with 3/7 Cavalry, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division and was in the initial assault into Iraq on March 19, 2003, fighting his way into Baghdad with 1-46 Armor—and then into Fallujah with 3-15 Infantry, serving as the platoon sergeant for the Tactical Human Intelligence Teams. His team led to the kill or capture of seven of the “Top 55” Iraqi most wanted persons (the deck of cards). In 2010, he was deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan with the 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade where he served as the brigade liaison between his unit and Regional Command – South.

After retiring in 2015, CJ was accepted to Texas A&M University Central Texas where he will graduate with a degree in History and a minor in Political Science in the Spring of 2018. He was inducted into several Honors Societies for his scholastic achievements, including Phi Theta Kappa, National Honor Society, and the Society for Collegiate Leadership and Achievement, in which he currently serves as the TAMUCT chapter president.

After 20 years of honorable service to his country, CJ wants to continue his service to Texas. He is heavily involved in politics as an advocate and activist on topics ranging from veterans’ issues to pro-life to gun rights. He worked closely with Army Vice Chief of Staff General Pete Chiarelli in his effort to remove the stigma of PTSD. CJ’s blog was read by President George W. Bush and resulted in CJ being invited to the Oval Office in 2007 where President Bush presented him with a presidential coin.

CJ has a record of standing up for conservative values. For example, CJ fought to return gun rights to every single Texan that were stripped from us in 1876. His efforts legalized open carry and campus carry as well as a reduction in the cost of the license to carry—something he has been pushing since 2013.

“I want to go to Austin to get Austin out of our lives to the greatest extent possible,” CJ explained. “I’m fed up with politicians who go to Austin on promises to be a conservative leader at home while engaging in big government business as usual. I can no longer resist calls from my fellow my citizens to run for office and bring Bell County values back to Austin.

“I have a proven track record of saying what I’m going to do and doing what I say. I’m going to Austin to serve; not to be served.”