Major General Bligh was raised in Athens, Pennsylvania. He is a 1988 graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a 1997 graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law.
Major General Bligh was commissioned through the Platoon Leaders Course program in 1988. He initially served as a Platoon Commander and Company Commander at 2d Assault Amphibian Battalion, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He later served as a Series Commander at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina.
Upon completion of the Naval Justice School, Major General Bligh served as a civil law officer, trial counsel, and officer-in-charge of legal assistance at Camp Lejeune. He was then assigned as Director, Joint Law Center, Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina. During this assignment, Major General Bligh deployed for OIF-I with Task Force Tarawa.
Major General Bligh has served as the Staff Judge Advocate for 3d Marine Division and III Marine Expeditionary Force in Okinawa, Japan, and Marine Corps Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia. Prior to assuming his current duties, Major General Bligh served as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and later as the Assistant Judge Advocate General of the Navy (Military Law).