Sergeant Major, III Marine Expeditionary Force
Sergeant Major Mario A. Marquez was born in Guadalajara City, Mexico and enlisted in the Marine Corps out of Lakewood, CA in 1989. Upon completing Recruit Training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) San Diego, CA and follow on schooling, Private First Class Marquez was assigned to Beach and Terminal Operations (BTO) Company, 3d Landing Support Battalion, 3d Force Service Support Group (FSSG), Okinawa, Japan. During his tour he participated in numerous exercises throughout the Pacific. He also deployed in support of the Hanshin Earthquake in Kobe and Osaka, Japan during January of 1995. Sergeant Marquez received orders to 1st Landing Support Battalion, 1st Force Service Support Group, Camp Pendleton, CA. During his tour he deployed several times to the CENTCOM AOR, conducted Theater Security Cooperation Ops in Guatemala/Honduras, and also participated in a TRAP mission to recover a downed T-34 aircraft in the mountains near El Toro, CA.
Sergeant Marquez reported for Drill Instructor duty at MCRD San Diego, CA in January of 1998. Promoted to Staff Sergeant in March of 1998, he went on to serve as a Drill Instructor and Senior Drill Instructor in Company C, and as a Series Gunnery Sergeant for Company D. Staff Sergeant Marquez served for ten consecutive training cycles. Staff Sergeant Marquez was certified as a Marine Combat Instructor of Water Survival during his tour.
In April of 2001, Gunnery Sergeant Marquez reported to the 2d Transportation Support Battalion, 2d FSSG, Camp Lejeune, NC. In May, 2001 he was transferred to Combat Service Support Detachment 24 and participated in Combined Arms Exercise 9 and 10 at 29 Palms, CA which ended during the 9/11 attacks. During October of 2001, he served as Operations Chief, Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Service Support Group-24, 24th MEU. From August of 2002 until May of 2003 while serving aboard the USS Austin, the 24th MEU participated in Operations DYNAMIC RESPONSE, SOUTHERN WATCH, ENDURING FREEDOM, and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM I.
First Sergeant Marquez reported to Inspector & Instructor Duty, 4th Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion (LAAD), 4th Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), Pasadena, CA during February of 2004. The battalion deployed to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq from August 2004 to March 2005 as the Provisional Security Battalion, 3rd MAW, Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II. Upon returning home, he then PCS’d to the “Walking Dead”, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 2nd Marine Division. In April, 2006, he deployed with A Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM 05-07, and was assigned under Task Force 134, Camp Ashraf, Diyala Province, Iraq.
In October of 2007, Sergeant Major Marquez reported to Marine Wing Support Squadron 172, 1st MAW, Okinawa, Japan. In March of 2008, the Firebirds deployed in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM 7-9 to Al Asad Airbase, Iraq. Upon returning to Okinawa, he participated in civic and humanitarian exercises and operations throughout the AOR. Sergeant Major Marquez was transferred to Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 1 in August of 2009 and participated in the Japanese Officer Exchange Program in Kobe and Osaka, Japan.
During August of 2010, Sergeant Major Marquez was transferred to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 36, Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 36. In March of 2011, he deployed in support of Operation TOMODACHI as the MAG 36 Forward Sergeant Major, Joint Task Force-519, after an earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear reactor incident struck North-Eastern Japan. From June of 2011 until December of 2012, he served as the MAG-36 Sergeant Major.
Sergeant Major Marquez reported to Marine Forces Central Command Forward, Bahrain, in February of 2013. During his assignment he worked with Marine Corps and Joint-force ODAs in Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and UAE with critical NCO development and Theater Security Cooperation programs.
Additionally, Sergeant Major Marquez supported combat and humanitarian operations in Afghanistan, Yemen, CJTF-HOA, the Syrian-Jordanian border in addition to employing the Marine Corps’ first rotation of Special Purpose MAGTF-CR-CENTCOM. During his tour he participated in Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and directly supported Marines and Sailors deployed in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE.
In June of 2015, Sergeant Major Marquez returned to the Pacific as the Sergeant Major, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, employing over 8,000 Marines and Sailors and 200+ Aircraft, participating in over 100 joint and bilateral exercises and operations a year. Sergeant Major Marquez was selected to remain in the PACOM AOR as the Sergeant Major, III Marine Expeditionary Force during May of 2017.
Sergeant Major Marquez's awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal w/one gold star, the Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal w/two gold stars, Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal w/four gold stars, and the Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.