Sergeant Major Nguyen was born in Saigon, Viet Nam. He arrived in America as a refugee in 1988. In 1993, he enlisted in the Marine Corps through the Delay Entry Program and subsequently attended recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego with Bravo Company, First Recruit Training Battalion in August 1994. Upon graduation from Recruit Training, Private Nguyen was meritoriously promoted to Private First Class and reported to School of Infantry, Camp Pendleton, California for training as a rifleman.
First Tour (1995-1997)
In 1995, Private First Class Nguyen reported to 3d Battalion, 3d Marines in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii for duty with Kilo Company. He deployed to Okinawa, Japan in the summer of 1995 and during this time attended the Infantry Squad Leader Course where he graduated as a Distinguished Graduate. Upon returning from his first deployment, Lance Corporal Nguyen was meritoriously promoted to Corporal in 1996. During the remaining of his tour with 3d Battalion, 3d Marines, Corporal Nguyen deployed to Australia in support of Exercise Gold Eagle and again deployed to Okinawa, Japan in the winter of 1996.
Upon returning from deployment in 1997, Corporal Nguyen volunteer to “cross deck” to 1st Battalion, 3d Marines for duty with Charlie Company as a Rifle Platoon’s Guide. Promoted to Sergeant in 1997, he attended the Sergeant Course at MCB Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii and graduated as the Honor Graduate. In early 1998, Sergeant Nguyen again deployed to Okinawa, Japan for the Unit Deployment Program. This time, his platoon was choose to be the Ship’s Security Platoon for the USS Independence and deployed to the Arabian Sea in support of Operation Southern Watch.
After the deployment with 1st Battalion, 3d Marines, Sergeant Nguyen was nominated and selected to be an Instructor and Advisor for the Corporal’s Course at MCB Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii from January 1999 to February 2000. During his time at the Corporal Course, Sergeant Nguyen was responsible for mentoring and training over 900 Corporals. In March 2000, Sergeant Nguyen volunteered and received orders for Drill Instructor duty at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California.
Upon graduating from Drill Instructor School as the Honor Graduate and also was the recipient for the Leadership Award, Sergeant Nguyen reported to First Recruit Training Battalion for duty with Bravo Company as a Drill Instructor. As a new Drill Instructor, he was the recipient of the Gunnery Sergeant Nichol’s Award as a resulted of his intense work ethic from his 1st cycle. Sergeant Nguyen was promoted to Staff Sergeant in 2001 and was selected to serve as a Senior Drill Instructor. During this time, he was selected to be the Senior Drill Instructor of the Quarter for the Recruit Training Regiment. In the winter of 2002, he was selected to serve as a Series Gunnery Sergeant and was subsequently meritoriously promoted to Gunnery Sergeant in January 2003.
Second Tour (2003-2007)
After a successful tour of duty with training recruits, Gunnery Sergeant Nguyen again reported to 3d Battalion, 3d Marines in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii for duty with Kilo Company; this time as the Weapons Platoon Sergeant. He deployed with Kilo Company from August 2003 to January 2004 and was attached to the 31st MEU. Upon returning to Hawaii, he was selected to be the Company Gunnery Sergeant for Kilo Company. From June to July 2004, Gunnery Sergeant Nguyen deployed to Australia a second time for Exercise Gold Eagle. Returning from Australia and with a short training cycle, he then deployed to Gardez, Afghanistan in the winter of 2004 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Upon returning from deployment in June 2005, Gunnery Sergeant Nguyen attended the Advance Course at Camp Pendleton, California and graduated as a Distinguished Graduate. He was selected to First Sergeant in November 2005 and subsequently frocked before reporting to India Company for duty as the Company First Sergeant in January 2006. From March to October 2006, First Sergeant Nguyen deployed with India Company to Haditha, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Post-3rd Battalion 3rd Marines
After another successful and challenging tour with 3d Battalion 3d Marines, First Sergeant Nguyen received orders to Combat Service Support Group 3 (CSSG-3), 3d Marine Logistics Group in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.
From March 2007 to October 2008, First Sergeant Nguyen served as the Company First Sergeant for Maintenance Company, Support Company, and Headquarters Company. During this time, CSSG 3 was re-designated to Combat Logistics Battalion 3. First Sergeant Nguyen received orders in the winter of 2008 for duty with Golf Company, 2d Battalion, 23d Marines in Los Alamitos, California.
From November 2008 to February 2011, First Sergeant Nguyen served as the Inspector-Instructor First Sergeant. In March 2011, Sergeant Major Nguyen was frocked to his current rank and report for duty with Marine Wing Support Squadron 373 in San Diego, California.
During his tenure with the “Aces”, Sergeant Major Nguyen had the opportunity to return to Afghanistan in September 2012. In April 2013, he attended the Senior Enlisted Professional Military Education and in September 2013, he graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wayland Baptist University earning a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Education.
In March 2014, Sergeant Major Nguyen reported for duty as the Battalion Sergeant Major for 1st Battalion, 1st Marines aboard Camp Pendleton, California.
Sergeant Major Nguyen’s personal decoration and awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device and three gold stars in lieu of fourth award, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with two gold stars in lieu of third award, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal with silver star in lieu of six award; and various other unit and service awards.
Heroic achievement while serving as Company First Sergeant, Company I, 3d Battalion, 3d Marines, Regimental Combat Team-7, I Marine Expeditionary Force Forward, from March to September 2006, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. During this period, First Sergeant Nguyen performed his demanding duties in an exemplary and highly professional manner by skillfully leading, guiding, and mentoring over 200 Marines through a highly complex and dangerous combat deployment. Never was this more evident than on 9 May 2006, when his patrol came under intense small arms fire following the detonation of an improvised explosive device. During the engagement, First Sergeant Nguyen observed a Marine wounded by the enemy fire. Disregarding his own safety, he pulled the Marine from the kill zone to a secure position and performed first aid while simultaneously coordinating a medical evacuation. His calm leadership under fire undoubtedly prevented further injury to the wounded Marine and were an inspiration to all those in the company. First Sergeant Nguyen’s initiative, perseverance, and total dedication to duty reflected credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.