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Getting To Know Greg Grillo

In 1995, LT Greg Grillo left the comfortable confines of Washington State where he’d spent his first 26 years.  Traveling to the opposite coast,  he reported to Parris Island Marine Recruit Depot as a Navy dentist on his first assignment.

Within a few weeks, his department head noticed numerous positive comment cards submitted by frightened recruits who were also in a new experience in their lives. 

The messages carried a comforting theme:  LT Grillo knew how to engage them very quickly in a way that made them feel safe and understood.  His clinic director wrote: “Many providers master the technical skill of dentistry, but you have already learned a relationship skill that few ever grasp.”

Greg recalls, “I was then asked if I would produce an original educational document for recruits that would help them understand their dental health and connect with their limited understanding. Engaging 18 year olds in this way was a new endeavor...and one I loved taking on.”

Dr. Greg created a unique piece that changed the educational experience of Marine recruits at Parris Island.  It became a document that thousands of young men and women absorbed while visiting the recruit dental clinic during their intensive training.  A second original document followed, and LT Grillo received a commendation award from his commanding officer for the project.

“I’ll never forget the rugged 18 year-old from Missouri who thanked me for helping him understand his own health better than anyone else ever had,”  he says.

This defining experience early in Greg’s career solidified what it means to him to truly serve others, gain their trust, and help them move in a positive direction.

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