Mr. Van Clief was born and raised in Mt. Vernon, New York. He graduated from Albany High school in 2001, where he and his family had later moved. During high school junior year (1999-2000) he joined the army reserves under the split option program to pursue a college education. His education was placed on hold when he was later deployed to war in 2003. Afterwards Mr. Van Clief joined the army full time in 2005 and was again deployed to Iraq and later to Afghanistan (2008).
Shortly after returning from Afghanistan (2009), Mr. Van Clief, due to adjustment disorders/PTSD issues/family problems found himself in a conflict that ended with the loss of a man’s life. Still believing in being the good father, kind hearted individual he has been during his imprisonment, Mr. Vanclief seeks to help himself and other people to avoid the pitfalls of life. As well as reach their potential. Currently in Auburn correctional, he is the president of veterans of modern warfare chapter #24, a Cornell Prison Education Program student, having received his Associates Degree in 2016, a facilitator for the Alternatives to Violence Program, and an actor (participant) in the Phoenix Players Theatre Group.