By Barney Blakeney
Gregory Rouse, II as the grandson of retired U.S. Marshall Fred Stroble, grew up in the shadow of one of the Charleston area’s most respected law enforcement officers. Rouse’s grandfather was among the first Black police officers hired by the Charleston Police Department and continued to a stellar career in law enforcement eventually becoming the first Deputy U.S. Marshal in South Carolina.
Rouse, the son of the late Gregory Rouse Sr. and Stroble’s second of three daughters, Winifred, attended Porter Gaud High School where he played football four years. As a youth he liked to argue and “make money”, he reflected recently. By age 10 the two predispositions had inspired him to become an attorney.
Stroble joined the Charleston Police Department in 1962 as a patrolman; later he worked as a detective with the vice squad; was named the first African American Deputy Sheriff for Charleston County in 1969; was appointed Deputy United States Marshal in 1972; and served the United States District Court for 36 years. By the time of his retirement in 2008, Stroble had served in law enforcement for 46 years. Despite his grandfather’s distinguished career in law enforcement, he never pushed Rouse into law enforcement.. But the influence was there. “His influence definitely was a platform for my decisions. There’s no doubt I consider what I’m doing a continuation of his legacy,” Rouse said.
The 2011 Porter Gaud graduate went on to attend the University of South Carolina-Spartanburg where he majored in Business and Marketing. After graduating in 2015 he went on to Elon School of Law in Greensboro, N.C., graduating in two and one-half years December 16, 2017. Rouse had the good fortune to intern with several prominent local law firms while attaining his law degree including a summer at the Ninth Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office and with the Hon. Judge Richard Gergel. In the summer of 2017 he was a law clerk at the Hood Law Firm where he now serves as an attorney.
A desire to learn the law fueled by the overcasting shadow of one of Charleston’s consummate law enforcement officers is fertile ground for a promising career. As did his grandfather who spent 46 years in the field of law, Rouse is prepared to embark on an equally lengthy career.