Eric began his journey into the military by attending the United States Military Academy at West Point, in 1980. During his time at the academy, Mr. Holmes pursued Bachelors of Science in engineering, while being a part of the football team and other committees. Upon graduation, Eric was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Infantry and completed Ranger and Airborne schools. He was then sent to Fort Lewis, Washington where he earned his Expert Infantryman’s Badge and became the Garrison Company Commander at Yakima Firing Center. After a year in the 76th Division, a reserve unit, LTC Holmes volunteered to go to Iraq. He was assigned to the Center for Army Lessons Learned to study counterinsurgency in Ramadi, Iraq with the 3rd Infantry Division. The most important lesson he learned was the success of taking back a community from thugs is dependent on grassroots community involvement.