General Griffith was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army in 1960 after having graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science degree.
He is a Vietnam War veteran, having served as an infantry unit advisor with the Army of the Republic of Vietnam from 1964 to 1965 and later as Executive Officer of the 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division from 1969 to 1970.
Griffith’s commands include 1st Battalion, 32nd Armor in Germany, 1st Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division in Korea, and 1st Armored Division which he commanded in Germany and during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. His staff positions at the Department of the Army level include Executive Officer to the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army for Operations and Plans; Chief of the War Plans Division; Deputy Director of Operations,the Inspector General of the Army, and Vice Chief of Staff of the Army. He also served as the Chief of Staff, and later as the Assistant Division commander of the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas. Griffith retired from the Army on November 1, 1997.
His awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Army Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Legion of Merit with 2 oak leaf clusters, the Bronze Star with “V” device and 6 oak leaf clusters, the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantry Badge, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge, and the Army Staff Identification Badge. Griffith also received a number of foreign decorations to include, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star, the German Army Cross of Honor (Gold Class) and the Order of May for Military Merit (Grand Cross) from Argentina.
He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Shippensburg University. His military education includes the Armor Officer Advanced Course, the Command and General Staff College, and the Army War College. He also studied French and German at the Defense Language Institute