National Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight Born to be a U.S. Army Soldier: Command Sgt. Maj. Jorge Grajeda

By Maya Jordan, Fort Meade Public AffairsMay 23, 2023

Have you ever heard of the saying: ‘Some people were made to do it while others were born to do it?’

This expression rings true for Jorge Grajeda, Command Sgt. Maj. of the 741st Military Intelligence Battalion, the largest signals intelligence battalion at Fort George G. Meade.

November 11 is a national day where Americans remember and celebrate our military veterans – Veterans’ Day. It also happens to be a day of celebration for Grajeda as it is his birthday.

As an only child and first generation, Mexican-American in El Paso, TX, he experienced many interactions with Soldiers in the desert community local to Fort Bliss.

“I would always see Soldiers from Fort Bliss,” said Grajeda. “They would always carry themselves with pride. They were always clean cut. The Gulf War had just [started and Bliss] was home to the Air Defense Center of Excellence.”

Although, his family stressed the importance of school and sports. Two of his uncles served and had an amount of influence on him to join the Army.

Deep down inside, he knew he was the missing puzzle piece connected to a bigger picture.

“In my heart and in the back of my mind I always dreamed about being a Soldier,” Grajeda said.

So, in August 1997, he enlisted in the U.S. Army.

“Growing up, I never really heard of [a] Command Sgt. Maj. Grajeda, Avila, Torres or Ramirez,” offered the El Paso native. “Even going up the ranks I’d see an Hispanic Command Sgt. Maj. once in a while. [And I thought] there’s a chance I can make it one day.”

The name Grajeda originates from Spain which means “noble worker”. Grajeda comes from a family of handworkers, self-starters and entrepreneurs. The Grajedas migrated from a border town in Mexico called Ciudad Juaréz to Texas.

Many of the Army values align with Grajeda’s upbringing.

“I look at my Mom and my Dad who I credit for the person that I am. They were servants to their families, they were constantly doing things for others. My grandparents were the same way,” said Grajeda.

“On my Mom’s side, my uncles were professional boxers. So there was a big sense of pride. Discipline, if you didn’t do right you were going to get disciplined by both Mom and grandma. And Dad and granddad would do the hard talks. That’s where all these things came from that helped me be successful in the Army and molded me”, said Grajeda.

Grajeda believes that taking care of Soldiers is like taking care of his family.

“As kids, there was always a grown-up we could talk to; we were never alone, said the 23-year Army veteran. “We would take care of each other. My culture, my heritage and the way that I was brought up being Hispanic ties to my leadership style. I want to know Soldiers. I want to take care of their problems as they arise.

“I try to develop all my non-commissioned officers to understand that every Soldier has a Sergeant and we have to know our Soldiers,” said Grajeda.

Prior to his current assignment, Grajeda was assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team in Iraq. After that he transitioned to leadership roles as a first sergeant in Korea, as an Observer Coach with First Army at Fort Bliss, TX, and then another first sergeant assignment. His last role was as Sgt. Maj. at the ‘crown jewel’ National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.

After work, Grajeda enjoys traditional Mexican dishes like flauta rolled tacos and pinto beans. In his spare time he likes to spend weekends with his wife Yesenia and daughter Ximena visiting monuments in Washington, D.C.

“This is a dream assignment for me, being here I’ve never had the opportunity be in a place like this,” said Grajeda. “Primarily, I’ve been with tactical units lots of field time and lots of training.”

Image 1
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The 741st Military Intelligence Battalion during a formation run on Fort George G. Meade. (Photo Credit: CSM Jorge Grajeda U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
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2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – In the desert at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin California with Senior enlisted trainers. (Photo Credit: CSM Jorge Grajeda, U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
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3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Pictured in this Grajeda family photo (left to right) wife Yesenia, Jorge and daughter Ximena. (Photo Credit: CSM Jorge Grajeda, U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
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4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A photo of CSM Jorge Grajeda in his office. (Photo Credit: CSM Jorge Grajeda, U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL