NORTH CAROLINA A&T STATE – Second Lt. Kristofer Grimes is the personification of “Aggie Born and Bred.”
He represents the third generation of the Grimes family commissioned in the U.S. Air Force Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC) at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
Grimes, who finished his senior year at his eastern North Carolina home because of COVID-19 restrictions, will use his electrical engineering degree to pilot remote aircrafts.
At his virtual commissioning ceremony, his father, retired Lt. Col. Kenneth K. Grimes, spoke about the military traditions of his family.
Kristofer’s grandfather, Clifton Grimes, was commissioned from A&T in 1954. He was stationed in Michigan, then Japan and spent some time recruiting students to A&T before separating from the Air Force in the late ’50’s.
His father, Kenneth, who also commissioned at A&T, was his Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (JROTC) aerospace science instructor in high school and encouraged him to pursue military ambitions.
“I took him to the A&T detachment when he was in junior high and showed him the pictures of me and his grandfather up on the wall. You could see the light in his face,” Kenneth said . “Kris embodies the Air Force’s core values of integrity, service before self and excellence in all that he does.”
Not only does the military blood run in the family, so does the Aggie Pride. Of Kenneth’s four children who all graduated from college, three are A&T alumni.
“Our whole family and even our extended family have been at A&T,” Kristofer Grimes said. “Everybody I’ve ever really been around was an Aggie. I had so much support here and it was the best pick for me.”
That support got him through his years at A&T with his sister and family friends in the area while he was away from home.
“For us, Aggie Pride is not just a catchphrase, it’s a way of life,” Kenneth said. “Kris has continued our legacy, and we are very proud of him.”