Reservist Rotates From House Job to Iraq Posting

Posted March 5, 2004 at 3:22pm

An aide to the Homeland Security Committee will spend the next six months putting his expertise into practice on the frontlines of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

As part of the Pentagon’s rotation of approximately 25,000 Marines and sailors into Iraq, Michael Geffroy, a 38-year-old senior counsel on the committee and a major in the Marine Corps Reserve, reported to California’s Camp Pendleton early last month to join the First Marine Expeditionary Force.

Geffroy’s unit left the United States on Feb. 27, en route to western Iraq’s Al Anbar Province — a region which lies within the so-called Sunni Triangle. As of last week, Geffroy was stationed at Kuwait’s Camp Victory, expecting to enter Iraq soon to relieve the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division.

In a statement, Homeland Security Chairman Christopher Cox (R-Calif.) praised Geffroy’s service to the reserve, calling him a “leader of strong character who has won the respect, admiration and affection of a tough crowd on the Hill.”

Geffroy, who works as a judge advocate general, is on a six-month leave from the panel, said majority Staff Director John Gannon.

“We have told him his seat will be kept warm and his desk kept empty,” Gannon said, adding that several staffers would be picking up his work on a temporary basis.

Geffroy, hired in April 2003, was one of the fledgling committee’s first acquisitions and worked primarily on transportation and border security issues, Gannon said.

Prior to arriving at Homeland Security, Geffroy served as a counsel on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he was a “key investigator” into the collapse of the Houston-based energy giant Enron, said fellow Homeland Security aide Tom DiLenge, who also worked with Geffroy at Energy and Commerce.

“The criminals at Enron are probably a different breed than the criminals he’ll be facing in Iraq, but the mission is the same,” DiLenge said.

Geffroy, a Rhode Island native, first joined the Marines in 1986, serving on active duty from 1993 to 1996. He is a 1989 graduate of Brown University and holds a law degree from Catholic University.

While Geffroy is the first staffer from the committee to deploy to Iraq, he’s not the first Cox aide to depart for the Iraqi theater. Last fall, Muhammad Hutasuhut, a senior foreign policy adviser in the Golden State Congressman’s personal office, accepted a year-long stint with the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority.