Joseph C. Breze enlisted in the Marine Corps on 25 April 1985. Upon completion of Boot Camp, Lance Corporal Breze attended Infantry Training School, Camp Pendleton, California. Upon graduation in October 1985 he was assigned to Alpha Company, 3rd Recon Battalion, 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii for duty as a Recon Scout. In October 1986 Corporal Breze attended Navy Dive School, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. In June 1988 Corporal Breze attended Army Ranger School, Fort Benning, Georgia, where he was selected as the Distinguished Enlisted Honor Graduate. In September 1988 Corporal Breze attended Basic Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Sergeant Breze transferred to 1st Force Recon Company, 1st Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Intelligence Group, Camp Pendleton, California for duty from June 1989 to September 1993. In 1990 Sergeant Breze was attached to the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Command) for Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. In 1992 Sergeant Breze was attached to the 15th MEU (SOC) for Operation Restore Hope and his platoon conducted the initial landing into Somalia in December of that year. In 1993 Sergeant Breze was selected as Team Leader of the Year.
In September 1993 Sergeant Breze reported to Recruiters School, Marine Corps Recruiting Depot San Diego, California. Upon graduation from Recruiters School Sergeant Breze was assigned to Recruiting Station San Diego, 12th Marine Corps District.
In December 1996 Staff Sergeant Breze reported to 1st Force Recon Company, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California for duty. In 1998 he was attached to the 11th MEU (SOC) for WestPac and again in 2001. Staff Sergeant Breze completed the Military Basic Freefall Course at Yuma Proving Grounds, Yuma, Arizona in 1998 and in 2000 completed the Military Freefall Jumpmaster Course in Yuma Proving Grounds.
In October 2001 Gunnery Sergeant Breze reported to Company B, 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne), Yuma Proving Grounds, Yuma Arizona for duty as a Military Freefall Instructor. Gunnery Sergeant Breze stayed there until his selection to First Sergeant in January 2004.
First Sergeant Breze reported to 3rd Battalion 7th Marines, 29 Palms, California for duty as Company First Sergeant for Company I. In February 2004 First Sergeant Breze deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom II. In February 2005, First Sergeant Breze transferred to Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines to serve as Company First Sergeant and deployed to Ar Ramadi, Iraq in support of OIF 04-06. In May 2006 First Sergeant Breze was assigned to Headquarters Battalion as Company B First Sergeant.
Sergeant Major Breze served as a Recruiting Station Sergeant Major at Recruiting Station Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 31 January 2007 to 9 March 2010.
Sergeant Major Breze’s personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with one bronze star, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold star, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with (2) gold stars, Army Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon with (2) gold stars, Good Conduct medal with silver star, Korean Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Recruiting Ribbon, Sea Service ribbon with (5) bronze stars, and the Kuwait Liberation Medal. Sergeant Major Breze also wears the Combatant Diver Pin and Navy/Marine Parachutists Jump Wings.