Mr. Gielow grew up in Newnan, Georgia and graduated from Hampden Sydney College, where he met his wife of 38 years, Elizabeth Baker Gielow.  Entering the United States Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Class after his freshman year, Mr. Gielow graduated and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1979.  He completed flight school in Pensacola, Florida, and in 1981 was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station, New River, North Carolina where he began his training as an AH-1 Cobra gunship pilot.


In 1983, Lt. Gielow participated in Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada, where he was awarded the Air Medal, with combat V, for aerial support operations.  He was awarded his first combat action ribbon for operations in support of our Lebanese allies in Beirut, Lebanon, as the palace liaison officer to the staff of President Gemayel, when the palace came under attack by opposition forces.  Lt. Gielow served to direct the fires of our naval forces, including the USS New Jersey, on opposition forces.


Captain Gielow served as a flight instructor and as an instructor with the Naval Aviation Water Survival Model Manager in Pensacola, Florida.  In the latter role, he was instrumental in the introduction of the training course for the Helicopter Underwater Egress Device for Naval aircrew.  Leaving Pensacola, he served as a Forward Air Controller (FAC) for Second Battalion, Fourth Marines.  Extending at Second Marine Division after deployment to the Mediterranean, Captain Gielow served as the helo frag officer in the Air Office, Second Marine Division.  In this capacity, Captain Gielow initiated the underwater egress training program for Marine Corps infantry.


Captain Gielow was reassigned to HML/A-269 for deployment to Desert Shield/Desert Storm as the Logistics Officer.  On short notice, he led the efforts for unit deployment to Dahran, Saudi Arabia, as well as integration of his unit into the Army supply system on their arrival.  With no service support, Captain Gielow initiated liaison both with the Army logistical units in the area of operations as well as with local Bell Helicopter representatives, setting up direct purchases of much needed aircraft parts.  With absolutely no logistical support planned for his unit in their forward location, Captain Gielow managed to set up a forward operating base from scratch, providing not only for the care and feeding of his unit, but maintenance, transportation, medical, and operational (ammunition) supplies to ensure unit readiness.  During Operation Desert Storm, the squadron conducted critical on-call close-in fire support, escort for minesweeping aircraft, Surface Combat Air Patrol, and air intercept operations. Meanwhile, Gunrunner Hueys played a vital role in the raid on Faylaka Island, firing in excess of seventy-five 2.75" rockets at fortified Iraqi positions under NVG low light level conditions. 


On return to the US, Captain Gielow was appointed as the unit maintenance officer, during which time he supported flight operations leading to a record sortie and ordnance delivery for the unit in support of unit deployment to CAX, Twenty Nine Palms.  Major Gielow then attended Marine Corps Command and Staff College, earning a Masters of Military Science in that college’s first year granting such degrees.  His masters thesis, The Obsolescence of Conventional War, was  prescient of future developments to come in the war on terror.


LtCol Gielow was reassigned and appointed as the Operations Officer for MAG-29.  As such, he led a transition to a core competencies training and readiness standard.  Harold and Elizabeth lost a son, Harold Gielow Junior, during this tour.  Although selected for command, LtCol Gielow requested a non-command follow on tour to transition to civilian life and help his family heal from their loss.  LtCol Gielow was appointed as the CNO liaison to the FAA Southern Region.  In this position, LtCol Gielow not only protected vital Department of Defense training airspace, but also sought to raise awareness of critical infrastructure vulnerabilities which, after, 9/11, the warnings were heeded.


On retirement from the Marine Corps, Mr. Gielow worked for the FAA Enroute Surveillance Division.  When his in-laws both came down with cancer, Elizabeth and Harold decided to move back home to the farm to care for them.  Mr. Gielow taught high school biology and earth science in the local high school, while Elizabeth took back up her teaching of elementary school.  Mr. Gielow had the first on-line curriculum for student access in Mecklenburg County.  After one year, Mr. Gielow was offered and accepted a position on the J-7, Joint Chiefs of Staff for Training in Suffolk, Virginia, where he participated in multiple combatant command level exercises.


Mr. Gielow completed his post military career working in support of Naval aviation at Patuxent River, Maryland.  He served in support of the Military Flight Operations Quality Assurance Program and, lastly, as the lead contractor sustainment support for the Joint Technical Data Integration Program. 


Retired to Aegypt, a part of his wife’s family farm since the 1700’s, Mr. Gielow and Elizabeth are active in the local Gideons chapter, their local church, and the

Beautiful community of Mecklenburg County, Virginia.