Missouri Military Academy (MMA) is proud to announce that Gen. Frank J. Grass, U.S. Army. Retired, will receive the 2018 Gen. Clifton B. Cates "I Will Hold" Award for Leadership at MMA's annual Maroon and Gold Gala April 7, 2018 at the Chase Park Plaza in St. Louis.
Grass served as the 27th Chief, National Guard Bureau and as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from September 2012 to August 2016. In this capacity, he acted as a military adviser to the president, secretary of defense, and National Security Council and was the Department of Defense's official channel of communications to governors and state adjutants general on all matters pertaining to the National Guard.
"Gen. Grass's leadership helped to elevate the National Guard in its mission to serve both community and country, and for our MMA cadets, he is an outstanding role model," said MMA President Charles "Tony" McGeorge. "By honoring him through this award, we hope to recognize the key service the men and women of the National Guard provide our nation and inspire our cadets to elevate their own aspirations of leadership."
During his career, Grass was responsible for ensuring that the more than 450,000 Army and Air National Guard personnel were accessible, capable, and ready to protect the homeland and to provide combat forces to the Army and Air Force. He retired 1 September 2016 after nearly 47 years as a soldier.
The Gen. Clifton B. Cates "I Will Hold" Award is annually presented at MMA's Maroon and Gold Gala in St. Louis. Former U.S. Senator Christopher "Kit" Bond, the 2015 recipient of MMA's "I will Hold" Award, will introduce Grass at this year's event, to be held April 7 in the Khorassan Ballroom at the Chase Park Plaza. MMA supporters, alumni, cadets, parents, and friends are invited to attend. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with a cocktail hour, and dinner will be held at 7 p.m.
Tickets may be purchased online at MissouriMilitaryAcademy.org.
Established in 2014 in commemoration of MMA's 125th anniversary, the "I Will Hold" Award is named for Gen. Clifton B. Cates, a 1910 graduate of MMA. Cates led a distinguished military career, serving through several major conflicts, including World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. He eventually became the 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps and is well know as the man who fought Congress to save the U.S. Marine Corps from possible extinction in 1951, paving the way for the USMC's growth and prosperity.