Cliff served in both staff and leadership positions in Armor and Cavalry units in Germany, Fort Hood, Texas, and Fort Stewart, Georgia. He commanded at the platoon, company, and battalion levels, culminating with command of the 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry, 3rd Infantry Division. He served two combat tours in Iraq, as Brigade Executive Officer for 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division in Baghdad 2003-2004 and as Squadron Commander of 5-7 Cavalry in Ramadi, Fallujah, and Arab Jabour 2007-2008.
From 2015 to 2018, Cliff was an organizational and leadership consultant and later an Assistant Vice President and Program Manager at Command Security Corporation in Herndon, Virginia. Returning to Government service in 2019, he is currently the Program Manager for the Keystone and Pinnacle programs at the National Defense University.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Mississippi, and Masters of Science degrees in Adult and Continuing Education from Kansas State University, and in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University.
A life-long student of History, Cliff is also a passionate volunteer for the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, the Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park, and the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (T.A.P.S.).