Colonel Bligh, a native of Athens, Pennsylvania, was commissioned in 1988 through the Platoon Leaders Course. He served as an Assault Amphibian Vehicle platoon commander, company executive officer, and company commander at 2d Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2d Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Colonel Bligh was then assigned as a series officer at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina.
Colonel Bligh attended the University of Georgia through the Marine Corps' Law Education Program. Upon completion of law school and the Naval Justice School in 1997, Colonel Bligh served as a civil law attorney, trial counsel, and as the OIC of Legal Assistance at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. He was then assigned as the Director, Joint Law Center, Marine Corps Air Station, New River, North Carolina. During this tour, Colonel Bligh deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate for Task Force Tarawa.
Colonel Bligh later served as the Staff Judge Advocate, 3d Marine Division and the Staff Judge Advocate, III Marine Expeditionary Force in Okinawa, Japan.
Prior to assuming his current duties, Colonel Bligh was assigned as the Staff Judge Advocate, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia.