Joseph "Grafe" Nesbitt '74

It has been a little over a year since Brother Joseph “Grafe” Nesbitt ’74 concluded his extensive and note-worthy 30 year career in the US Army. An experience that began at about the same time Grafe (for those who know him best) joined the Rho Phi Chapter, and eventually saw him rise to the rank of Colonel.

Brother Nesbitt pledge the Rho Phi chapter in the fall of 1970, while earning his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at Rose-Hulman. While at school Grafe was also going through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program, which earned him a three year scholarship. He was involved with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and a color guard member. As a member of Fiji he served as a co-chair of the social committee and a Boys Club Biddy Ball coach. Terre Haute is also where he meet his future wife, Jody Klien, a student at near by St. Mary of the Woods (1975).

Upon completion of ROTC in 1974, brother Nesbitt was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers. Having finished school, Grafe made a brief stint into the private sector. He spent barely nine months working for a Chicago based engineering firm before starting a four year leave of absence to serve his country, and never turned back. Along the way he has been stationed in Germany, Panama, South Korea and most recently served on a deployment to Bagram, Afghanistan; Brother Nesbitt truthfully has seen the world with the US Army.

Brother Nesbitt’s education did not stop when he left Terre Haute. He has also graduated from the Army War College, the Army Command and General Staff College, the Logistics Executive Development Course, the Ordnance Officer Advanced Course, and the Engineer Officer Basic Course. More recently he earned a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Shippensburg University (1997).

He is the recipient of the Legion of Merit (one oak leaf cluster), Bronze Star (one oak leaf cluster), the Meritorious Service Medal (six oak leaf clusters), the Army Commendation Medal (one oak leaf cluster), the Joint Meritorius Unit Award, the Senior Parachutist Badge, the Air Assault Badge, and the Department of the Army General Staff Identification Badge.

Grafe and his wife Jody, have two sons, Mark and Paul and a daughter, Kristen. His family currently resides in Mount Pleasant, SC, where he works for ITT Industries, Systems Division (an engineering services company).