Colonel Eric J. Penrod was born and raised in Windber, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State University and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps in May 1997 through the Platoon Leaders Course (PLC) program.
After completing The Basic School and the Basic Engineer Officers Course, Second Lieutenant Penrod served at 8th Engineer Support Battalion (ESB) in Camp Lejeune, NC, from 1998 to 2001. At 8th ESB he deployed to Central America for hurricane relief operations, to West Texas to conduct a Military Support to Law Enforcement Agency (MSCLEA) road improvement project for Joint Task Force – 6 (JTF-6) along the US/Mexico border, and twice to the Mediterranean Region with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Service Support Group (MSSG) as the MSSG Engineer and then the MSSG S-4.
Captain Penrod transferred to Marine Corps Security Force Training Company, Marine Corps Security Force Battalion, in Chesapeake, VA, where he held the billet of Operations Officer from 2002 to 2004.
Following a student assignment at the U.S. Army’s Engineer Captain’s Career Course (ECCC) at Fort Leonard Wood, MO, Captain Penrod transferred to 2d Combat Engineer Battalion (CEB), 2d Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, NC. During his 2005 to 2008 tour at 2d CEB, he deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF); once as an Engineer Company Commander in support of Regimental Combat Team-8 and once as an individual-augment staff officer in the Multinational Force-West (MNF-W) G3 Counter-IED section.
Major Penrod went on to school at the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College (CGSC) in Fort Leavenworth, KS. He was then assigned to NORAD / USNORTHCOM in Colorado Springs, CO from 2009 to 2012 where he served as the USMC engineer officer within the Directorate of Logistics and Engineering (J4).
In July 2012, Major Penrod was transferred to the Engineer Advocacy Branch (LPE) under the Deputy Commandant for Installations and Logistics (DC, I&L), Headquarters U. S. Marine Corps, to serve as the USMC Engineer Occupational Field Sponsor and Engineer Advocacy Section Head.
LtCol Penrod commanded 7th Engineer Support Battalion aboard Camp Pendleton, CA from July of 2014 to May 2016. Following command he moved to Washington, DC in July 2016 where he conducted his Top Level School assignment as the Commandant of the Marine Corps Fellow to the Department of Homeland Security.
In August 2018 following his fellowship, LtCol Penrod reported to the Concepts and Plans Division of the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab in Quantico, VA. From MCWL, he joint II MEF as an Individual Augment to train and deploy with Task Force-South West 19.1 from April 2019 to August 2020 as a Brigade Advising Team Leader. Upon his return to MCWL, Col Penrod served as the Director of the Marine Corps Rapid Capabilities Office.
In May 2020, Col Penrod reported to 2d Marine Division where he currently serves as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Logistics.
Col Penrod is a graduate of the United States Army's Engineer Captains Career Course and the United States Army's Command and General Staff College. He attained a Master of Arts degree in Business and Organization Security Management from Webster University while at the Command and General Staff College.
Col Penrod’s personal decorations include the Bronze Star (2nd Award), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (2nd Award), the Navy Commendation Medal (3rd Award, with Combat Distinguishing Device), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon.