|Born||Eric Robert Greitens
April 10, 1974
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Sheena Elise Chestnut (2011–present)|
|Alma mater||Duke University
Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford
|Awards|| Bronze Star
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Navy Commendation Medal
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Combat Action Ribbon
Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
|Years of service||2001–present|
|Commands||Joint Special Operations Task Unit
Mark V Special Operations Craft Detachment
Al Qaeda Targeting Cell
Eric Robert Greitens (born April 10, 1974) is a nonprofit leader, author, speaker, and United States Navy SEAL who lives in St. Louis, Missouri. He is a former Truman Scholar and Rhodes Scholar and the founder of the nonprofit The Mission Continues, which encourages veterans to volunteer for community service. TIME magazine awarded Greitens with the number twelve spot under its 100 Most Influential People in the World in April 2013, and Fortune Magazine identified him as one of the 50 greatest leaders in the world.
Early life and education
Greitens was born and raised in Missouri, the son of Becky and Robert Greitens. Greitens attended Parkway North High School. He was named a member of the 1995 USA Today All-USA Academic Team. Greitens was an Angier B. Duke Scholar at Duke University where he studied ethics, philosophy, and public policy. After graduating in 1996, he was selected as a Rhodes and Truman Scholar. Greitens attended Lady Margaret Hall, a constituent college of the University of Oxford, where he earned a master's degree in development studies in 1998 and a Ph.D. in politics in 2000.
Greitens is a Senior Fellow at the Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri. In the past, Greitens has taught classes at both the University of Missouri in Columbia and at Washington University in St. Louis.
As an undergraduate researcher, Greitens spent time in Croatia and Rwanda where he aided war refugees. His thesis at Oxford, entitled Children First, investigated the ways in which international humanitarian organizations can best serve war-affected children. Greitens has worked as a humanitarian volunteer, documentary photographer, and researcher in Zaire, Croatia, Bosnia, Albania, Cambodia, Mexico, Bolivia, and India. His photographs were featured in the publication, Community Strategies for Healing.
Greitens attended Naval Officer Candidate School in January 2001, after graduating from Oxford. He began Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) and graduated with Class 237 in Coronado, California, in February 2002. Greitens is currently a lieutenant commander in the United States Navy Reserve, and he was deployed four times to Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, and Southeast Asia. He served as the commander of a joint special operations task unit, commander of a mark V special operations craft detachment, and as commander of an al Qaeda targeting cell. His personal military awards include the Combat Action Ribbon, Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Purple Heart, and the Bronze Star.
White House Fellowship
In 2005, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as a White House Fellow. As a White House Fellow, Greitens worked in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and developed a new program to assist with the rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Katrina. The program, called the Universities Rebuilding America Partnership (URAP), was a $5.6 million effort to engage architecture and engineering students in the continued effort to rebuild New Orleans. During his time as a White House Fellow, he also co-founded the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll Program.
The Mission Continues
After returning from Iraq, Greitens used his combat pay and the disability pay of two friends to start The Mission Continues. The mission of the organization is to "challenge veterans to serve and lead in communities across America."
The Mission Continues encourages veterans to heal themselves through public service by engaging in volunteer organizations across the country. In 2014 the organization won the CLASSY Award, recognizing its effectiveness in active-duty and veteran services. Greitens stepped down as CEO in July 2014. He continues to serve on the board of directors.
Author and Speaker
Strength and Compassion is a collection of photographs and essays by Eric Greitens. Published in 2008, it is Greitens's first book, with a foreword by Rwandan humanitarian Paul Rusesabagina and an introduction by Bobby Muller, co-founder of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.
Greitens's second book, The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL, was published on April 11, 2011, by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The Heart and the Fist is Greitens's memoir of service, featuring stories of his humanitarian work, his training as a naval officer and SEAL and the military experiences that led him to adopt the paradoxical philosophy that you have to be strong to do good, but you also have to do good to be strong. Kirkus Review said of The Heart and the Fist: "Clear-eyed account of a youth devoted to service as a warrior and a humanitarian." The book became a New York Times bestseller and debuted on The St. Louis Independent Bookstore Alliance Best Sellers list at No. 1 for the week of April 17, 2011. The following year, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt also released a young adult edition of The Heart and the Fist titled The Warrior's Heart.
In March 2015, Greitens released, Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life, with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The book draws on letters Greitens wrote to a fellow SEAL struggling with PTSD.
Greitens is a prominent public speaker for law enforcement, universities, civic associations, and corporations on topics such as leadership, service, social responsibility, and resilience.
Greitens has been reported as a potential political candidate for office in Missouri. In April 2015, he told The Daily Show that he has set up an exploratory committee to look into the 2016 governor's race.
Awards, honors and media
In 2014, Fortune Magazine featured Greitens as one of the World's 50 Greatest Leaders. On April 18, 2013, Time magazine named Greitens to its 2013 one hundred Most Influential People in the World.
On May 20, 2012, Greitens was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Tufts University when he gave the commencement speech at the school's 156th commencement. That same year, Greitens received the Bronfman Prize, which recognizes dynamic leaders whose innovation and impact serve as inspiration for the next generations.
In June 2010, Major League Baseball and People Magazine announced Eric Greitens as a winner in People Magazine's All-Stars Among Us competition. He was selected to represent the city of St. Louis and the Cardinals at the 2010 All-Star Game in Anaheim, California.
On October 3, 2008, President George W. Bush personally awarded Greitens the President's Volunteer Service Award outside Air Force One at Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, Missouri, for his work at The Mission Continues.
Greitens is an accomplished marathon runner who has also won gold medals in taekwondo and boxing. Greitens was honored with the HOOAH Award, commissioned by the Major George A. Smith Memorial Fund in 2009. Greitens was named the 2010 Reader of the Year by Outside magazine.
- Phillips, Dave Coming Home to Damaging Stereotypes "New York Times". February 18, 2015
- Mullen, Mike The 2013 TIME 100 TIME. February 18, 2015
- "The Great Jewish Hope". Washington Free Beacon.
- Sheena Chestnut, Eric Greitens, The New York Times, August 5, 2011
- Hall of Fame – Our Charter Class, 2004
- AB Duke Profiles
- 32 Are Named Rhodes Scholars AP National Desk , Dec 11, 1995
- Two receive Rhodes
- Meet Our Scholars, 1995 Truman Scholars
- "Annual reports" (PDF).
- [dead link]
- PDF Community Strategies for Healing
- Greitens, Eric (2011). The Heart and the Fist. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. p. 133. ISBN 978-0-547-42485-9.
- Asfar, Roy (2011-04-01). "Eric Greitens | Veterans Advantage - Military Discounts, Veteran Discounts, Benefits". Veterans Advantage. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
- Greitens, Eric (2011). The Heart and the Fist. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. pp. 143–145. ISBN 978-0-547-42485-9.
- [dead link]
- Greitens, Eric (2011). The Heart and the Fist. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. p. 201. ISBN 978-0-547-42485-9.
- Greitens, Eric (2011). The Heart and the Fist. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. p. 235. ISBN 978-0-547-42485-9.
- Greitens, Eric (2011). The Heart and the Fist. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. p. 271. ISBN 978-0-547-42485-9.
- "White House Fellows: Class of 2005-2006" Online Article. The White House. 16 Jul 2008 <http://www.whitehouse.gov/fellows/alumni/2005-06.html>.
- Hinman, Kristen. "Captain America." Riverfront Times 09 APR 2008 10. 15 APR 2008 <http://www.riverfronttimes.com/2008-04-09/news/navy-seal-eric-greitens-has-come-home-to-st-louis-to-help-fellow-iraq-vets/>
- "Volume 3 Number 5: Universities Rebuilding America." PD&R Periodicals: Research Works. 01 MAY 2006. PD&R Periodicals. 27 Apr 2008 <http://www.huduser.org/periodicals/ResearchWorks/may_06/RW_vol3num5t1.html>.
-  The Truman School of Public Affairs. February 20, 2015.
- [dead link]
- Klein, Joe Clay Hunt’s Legacy for Veterans TIME. February 16, 2015
- Shane III, Leo Study: Volunteer work could help vets' careers Military Times. February 16, 2015
- The Mission Continues Drives Progress for Active Duty & Veteran Services Classyawards.org. February 16, 2015
- "New Profit Inc. :: The Mission Continues".
- Draper Richards Fellow: Eric Greitens
- Mission Continues Chief Executive Officer: Eric Greitens
- Brennan, Vince The Mission Continues’ Greitens steps down St. Louis Business Journal. February 20, 2015
- Strength and Compassion: Photographs and Essays by Eric Greitens. Sep 23, 2008. ISBN 0971007802.
- "Book Detail Page - HMH Books". houghtonmifflinbooks.com.
- "Spring 2011 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Adult Frontlist Catalog".
- Urban, Mark (2011-04-14). "THE HEART AND THE FIST by Eric Greitens | Kirkus". Kirkusreviews.com. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
- Schuessler, Jennifer (May 13, 2011). "Inside the List". The New York Times.
- Schuessler, Jennifer. "Print & E-Books". The New York Times.
- "St. Louis Independent Bookstore Alliance". http://www.stlindiebook.com/node/41
- Powers, Kevin Acts of Valor "New York Times". February 18, 2015
- "Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life: Eric Greitens Navy SEAL: 9780544323988: Amazon.com: Books". amazon.com.
- Nelson, Marcia Spring 2015 Announcements: Lifestyle: Death and Dieting Publishers Weekly. February 16, 2015
- Naughton, Julie Rising After a Fall: PW Talks with Eric Greitens Publishers Weekly. February 16, 2015
- Smarter Commerce Leadership Forum - November 17, 2014 - Dublin, OH February 16, 2015
- 2014 Convocation Lecture February 16, 2015
- Day to Day Activities - Friday, June 20, 2014 February 16, 2015
- Missouri Civics Education Initiative Unveiled to Promote Active and Engaged Citizenship Civics Education Initiative. February 16, 2015
- McDermott, K 2015, 'Navy SEAL turned bestselling author Eric Greitens considering run for statewide office', St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), 24 February, Newspaper Source, EBSCOhost, viewed 13 March 2015.
- Eric Greitens Extended Interview Part 2 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, April 16, 2015
- Colvin, Geoff (2014-03-20). "Eric Greitens - Fortune ranks the World's 50 Greatest Leaders - FORTUNE". Money.cnn.com. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
- "A Meaningful Adventure." Tufts NOW. 20 May 2012. <http://now.tufts.edu/articles/meaningful-adventure>
- 2012 | Eric Greitens The Bronfman Prize. February 16, 2015
- "MLB, PEOPLE Magazine & Cardinals announce three finalists for "People All-Stars Among Us" national campaign." St. Louis Cardinals. 1 June 2010. <http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20100601&content_id=10674702&vkey=pr_stl&fext=.jsp&c_id=stl>
- "People All-Stars Among Us." MLB. 20 June 2010. <http://mlb.mlb.com/peopleallstarsamongus/>
- "President Bush Honoring Local Veteran with Award" KSDK News Channel 5. 3 Oct 2007.<http://www.ksdk.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=156651&catid=3>.
- Vespereny, Cynthia St. Louis Character: Eric Greitens St. Louis Business Journal. February 20, 2015
- "Presentation of the HOOAH Award to Lt. Eric Greitens". NCoC. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
- Nyberg, Justin (2009-12-03). "Adventure Altruism All-Stars | Politics". OutsideOnline.com. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
- Brian Williams (2013-11-21). "NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams - NBC News". MSNBC. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
- "TODAY Video Player - popup". Today.msnbc.msn.com. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
- "May 11, 2011 - Eric Greitens - The Colbert Report - Episode Details | Comedy Central". Colbertnation.com. 2011-05-11. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
- Hollerman, Joe STL's Eric Greitens steps down as veterans group chief St. Louis Post-Dispatch. February 16, 2015
- The Mission Continues
- Lecture on The Heart and the Fist at the Pritzker Military Museum & Library
- Eric Greitens on Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life at the Pritzker Military Museum & Library
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Works by or about Eric Greitens in libraries (WorldCat catalog)