Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | March 10, 2022

US Army’s First African American Petroleum Systems Technician Promoted to Chief Warrant Officer Five

Sgt. 1st Class Monik Phan

FT SHAFTER, Hawaii -- Chief Warrant Officer 4 Robert J. Grice, a petroleum systems technician (923A) assigned to U.S. Army Pacific and a native of Lumberton, North Carolina, celebrated his promotion to Chief Warrant Officer 5 Feb. 25 at Fort Shafter, Hawaii.

Grice is the first African American to receive the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 5 as a petroleum systems technician.

“I can’t think of a more rewarding and a more deserving person,” said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Christie L Stewart, Warrant Officer Training Division Chief from Fort Gordon, Georgia.

Grice is the senior petroleum advisor for USARPAC G4 Sustainment Division Petroleum and Water Branch.

Because his late father Robert Gene Kelly influenced the honor to serve the nation throughout his childhood, Grice’s only desire after high school was to serve.

“I never thought college or the regular workforce to be an option. I joined straight out of high school and never looked back,” Grice said.

Following graduating from high school, he entered the U.S. Army in November 1992 as a petroleum supply specialist (77F). In March 2006, he transitioned to the warrant officer ranks.

“I was motivated to become a warrant mainly because I admired what they stood for,” said Grice. “The technical expert within their trade, the quiet professional and the honest broker to their assigned command. I wanted to continue to serve in my assigned field but bring more value to our Quartermaster Petroleum Community.”

In 2005, he decided to switch over at the rank of Sergeant First Class while assigned as Team Chief at Petroleum & Water Department, Quartermaster Center & School Fort Lee, Virginia. That same year, the military occupational specialty of Petroleum Systems Technician (923A) became established.

Throughout his military service of 29 years, he has served in various petroleum supply and combat service support units, including various tactical and operational level assignments. He deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom VIII, and Taszar, Hungary, in support of Bosnia Herzegovina.

Grice was also the first Petroleum Systems Technician to be nominated and serve as the Quartermaster Warrant Officer Branch Career Manager, managing five different QM MOSs. Those MOSs are Property Accounting Technician (920A), Supply Systems Technician (920B), Airdrop Systems Technician (921A), Food Service Technician (922A) and Petroleum Systems Technician (923A).

“I feel humbled, honored and appreciate Senior leaders such as the late

Gen. Colon Powell and others who help pave the way, set high standards and gave us the opportunity to serve as well,” said Grice.

“I’m honored to have met him and for him to call on me to do something like this,” said Stewart.

Grice aims to continue to provide mentorship and guidance to all junior warrant officers, Non-commissioned officers and officers striving to improve lessening the bulk petroleum and water storage distribution gap within the U.S. Indo-Pacific region.

“If a country boy from Lumberton can climb the enlisted ranks from private to the prestigious grade of W5 then anyone can do it,” Grice said. “All I have ever known was hard work and dedication to duty. I’ve carried those beliefs and values to the Army. I continue to display these very same Army values to the leadership, my fellow warrants, Noncommissioned officers, officers, family and friends.”
CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM
Facebook

Like Us
Twitter
322,555
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
Expanding Maritime Partnership: Thailand, U.S. 2022 CARAT Exercise
Expanding Maritime Partnership: Thailand, U.S. 2022 CARAT Exercise
May 23, 2022 - GULF OF THAILAND – Royal Thai and U.S. navies begin maritime training during the 28th annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise, May 23.Taking place in the Gulf of Thailand, the exercise highlights...

Japan-U.S. Joint Leaders’ Statement: Strengthening the Free and Open International Order
May 23, 2022 - THE WHITE HOUSE STATEMENTS AND RELEASES. Today, Japan and the United States affirm a partnership that is stronger and deeper than at any time in its history. Guided by our shared values; anchored by our common commitment to...

Remarks by President Biden and President Yoon Suk Yeol of the Republic of Korea at the Air Operations Center’s Combat Operations Floor on Osan Air Base
May 23, 2022 - THE WHITE HOUSE: Osan Air Base, Pyeongtaek, Republic of Korea. 1:52 P.M. KSTPRESIDENT BIDEN: First of all, I want to say thank you. And I wish you’d work on your biceps a little bit. (Laughter.) And you too, pal. It’s about...

Strong Alliances, Soldier Readiness Key to Deterring Aggression in the Pacific
Lt. Gen. Bill Burleson, Eighth Army commanding general, led a panel discussing
May 23, 2022 - HONOLULU, Hawaii -- With the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and numerous security challenges across the Indo-Pacific region, the stage was set for informative discussions at the 2022 Land Forces of the Pacific symposium, or...

Fort Shafter Soldiers Participate in Marara 22
U.S. and French soldiers take a break after establishing tactical control points in Huahine, French Polynesia during Marara 22. Marara 22 reinforces multinational partnerships by building readiness and interoperability for future contingencies throughout the Indo-Pacific. Through training, skill-sharing, and cultural exchanges, partnerships and allies share common interests in ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific through bilateral military-military engagements.
May 23, 2022 - HAUHINE, French Polynesia - Soldiers from the Headquarters and Headquarters and Charlie Company, 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment, Fort Shafter, Hawaii participated in Marara 22 from May 7 – 20, 2022.As part of the...