Col Rick L. Grabowski, USMC (Ret), to Speak at Missouri Military Academy’s Class of 2024 Commencement

Col Rick L. Grabowski, USMC (Ret), to Speak at Missouri Military Academy’s Class of 2024 Commencement

The 135th Missouri Military Academy (MMA) Corps of Cadets will celebrate commencement on Saturday, May 18, 2024, at 10 a.m. in Centennial Gymtorium on the MMA campus. Colonel Rickey L. Grabowski, USMC (Ret), will deliver the commencement address. Grabowski currently serves as the Academy’s commandant, overseeing all aspects of cadet life and leader development for the private, college preparatory, all-boys military boarding school.

This year, 37 MMA seniors and three post-grads will participate in the commencement ceremonies. The MMA Corps of Cadets annually achieves 100 percent college acceptance. The Class of 2024 has been offered more than $4.8 million in college scholarships. 

Grabowski joined MMA in June 2016 as the adjutant, assisting with the logistics and administration for the corps of cadets’ residential life. He was promoted to the position of the commandant of cadets in 2017. In this role, he has led the Academy’s residential life division, ensuring a safe, healthy living environment for Academy’s middle school and high school cadets. He also serves as summer camp director, overseeing MMA’s Leadership Camp, Confidence Camp, and Summer Academy.

Missouri Military Academy Commandant COL Grabowski speaks at fall 2023 Passing Through Ceremony

Missouri Military Academy Commandant COL Rick Grabowski addresses families at the fall 2023 Passing Through Ceremony.

“Through his leadership, COL Grabowski significantly contributes to our cadets’ academic, social, and physical growth,” says MMA President Brigadier General Richard V. Geraci, USA (Ret). “During his tenure at MMA, he has designed and implemented effective, robust training and leadership programs to prepare young men of confidence and character. He demonstrates an immense amount of energy in providing leadership, counseling, and care for the MMA Corps of Cadets.”

Grabowski holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice and Psychology from Truman State University, an M.S. in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College, and another M.S. in Military Operational Art and Science/Studies from the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College.

Missouri Military Academy Veterans Day Review 2023

COL Grabowski (center) leads a review of the corps of cadets during the Missouri Military Academy Veterans Day Review 2023.

He joined MMA after completing a distinguished 35-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps, beginning as an enlisted Marine and culminating as the chief of staff for the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, and Eastern Recruiting Region Headquarters. In this role, he oversaw 20 senior executive managers, 2,000 military support personnel, and a civilian workforce of over 1,400 employees. His responsibilities included managing the Marine Corps' oldest entry-level training facility, spanning 9,000 acres and 320 structures, and supervising the recruitment and transformation of approximately 20,000 qualified individuals into military service annually. Additionally, he directed executive staff efforts supporting a 1,700-person recruiting workforce across 23 eastern states to achieve strategic recruiting objectives.

A combat veteran with service in Iraq, Grabowski holds numerous military awards and honors recognizing his exemplary service. His awards include the Legion of Merit Medal, Bronze Star with "V” for valor, Meritorious Service Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Following MMA tradition, the corps will conduct final formation on MMA’s front campus following the 10 a.m. commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 18. Baccalaureate services will take place the day before, on Friday, May 17 at 5:00 p.m. in MMA’s Memorial Chapel, immediately followed by a senior banquet to be held at 6:00 p.m. in Centennial Gymtorium.

Passing Through Ceremony at Missouri Military Academy, fall 2023

COL Grabowski salutes the MMA cadet battalion staff at the Academy's Passing Through Ceremony in fall 2023.

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