Philip Grenier was born on February 9, 1962, in Worcester, Massachusetts. He attended local public schools through the 8th grade, at which time he enrolled and later graduated from St Johns High, a local prep school. He continued his studies at Assumption College. He enlisted in the army at the end of his first year. His family was very surprised at this because Phil had registered for the draft as a conscientious objector. Throughout his high school years, Phil had been very active in Christian youth organizations.
After completing Basic Training and Airborne School, his first and only assignment was Weapons Platoon, A Company, 2/75th Infantry (Ranger). Phil served as the senior mortar-man for the company during Operation Urgent Fury on the island of Grenada in 1983.
On October 27, 1983, preparations were being made for an airmobile raid on the Calvigny Barracks which housed Cuban soldiers. According to Lt. Clarence Chinn, “I asked for volunteers. Phil was one of those who asked to go. He was our senior-ranking man on the mortar team and the best soldier in the platoon. I was glad to have him.”
Just before the helicopter landed near the Cuban held compound, the craft was hit by small-arms fire from the ground and crashed killing Phil and two other Rangers.
Says Lt. Chinn, “It’s a terrible loss, Phil had a unique talent of being able to make everyone like him and still command their respect. His death is a reminder that the price of freedom sometimes comes very high.”
Philip is remembered by CSM Jim Pickering: “SGT Philip Grenier was my ammo bearer during that same air assault on Grenada. He sat in the helicopter right behind me as I sat in the open door. He was so young, but so were all three that died that day: Grenier, Stephen Slater, and Kevin Lannon.”
We honor you, Philip Grenier.
(Submission by: CSM Jim Pickering. #Repost @US Mountain Ranger Association)