Sergeant Major, 12th Marine Corps District[MIGRATE]

Sergeant Major Willie T. Ward III

Sergeant Major Willie T. Ward III
Sergeant Major, 12th Marine Corps District

Sergeant Major Ward was born in Munich, Germany on October 5th, 1967 to W. T. Ward II and Mary Lou Ward.  He was raised in a number of different states within the U.S. and countries abroad.  He is the second youngest of four children with two brothers and one sister.  He was brought up primarily on different Army posts, being that his father was in the Army and served during the Vietnam conflict.  He graduated from Belleville Township High School East out of Belleville, Illinois.  After graduating High School he attended Belleville Area College for one semester before deciding to join the United States Marine Corps. 

Sergeant Major Ward enlisted into the Marine Corps on September 18, 1986.  He went through basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, CA.  Upon completion of recruit training, he was assigned the MOS of 3531 (basic motor vehicle operator).  He executed his MOS training at Camp Del Mar, CA.  PFC Ward was then directed to report to Camp Lejune, NC, where he served as a motor vehicle operator with Hotel Battery, 3d Bn, 12th Marines (artillery) from 1986 to 1990.  During his tour with 3/12, Lance Corporal Ward was meritoriously promoted to the rank of Corporal and attended NCO school at Camp Lejeune.  In January of 1991 Corporal Ward advanced his MOS from 3531 to 3533 (Logistical Vehicle Systems Operator).  After completing that school, he was assigned to Brigade Service Support Group one, Kaneohe Bay, HI from 1990 to 1994.  During his tour there he attended Embarkation School, Air Movement Planner School, and Marksmanship Instructor School, therefore having multiple collateral duties.  Because of these additional duties and responsibilities Corporal Ward was selected to go before Company and Battalion level “NCO of the Quarter” Boards, eventually earning him the title of “NCO of the quarter” for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade in December of 1991.   

In April of 1994 Sergeant Ward received orders to MCRD, San Diego where he served as a Drill Instructor and Senior Drill Instructor for India Company 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, from 1994 to 1996.  After his successful tour at MCRD, he received orders to Officer Candidate School, Quantico, VA where he served as a Sergeant Instructor, Platoon Sergeant, and Drill Master from 1996 to 2000.  During his tenure at OCS Sergeant Ward was meritoriously promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant.  After completing four platoons as a Sergeant Instructor he was selected to lead his own Platoon as a Platoon Sergeant; the equivalent of a Senior Drill Instructor on the enlisted side.  Upon completion of one platoon as a Platoon Sergeant he was selected to serve as the Battalion Drill Master for OCS.  In April of 2000 Staff Sergeant Ward received orders to Fort Leonard Wood, MO, where he served as a Logistics Vehicle Systems Platform Instructor, Team Leader, and Company Gunnery Sergeant at Motor Transport Instruction Company from 2000 to 2002.   In April of 2002 Gunnery Sergeant Ward received orders to be the Assistant Marine Officer Instructor at Georgia Tech and Morehouse College.  In March of 2005 he was frocked to the rank of First Sergeant and was given orders to 3d Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion where he served as the Company First Sergeant for Delta Company deploying to Iraq in support of OIF 5-7.  In June of 2008 He was frocked to the rank of Sergeant Major and took over as the Battalion Sergeant Major for Combat Logistics Battalion 5 where he again deployed to Iraq where he was in support of OIF 8-2.  After the deployment he executed orders to Recruiting Station Los Angeles where he served as an RS Sergeant Major before moving up to the 12th Marine Corps District.  

Sergeant Major Ward has served with the 24th and 26th MEU SOC.  He has deployed on two Mediterranean floats, one deployment to Okinawa, one humanitarian deployment to Guam, and two combat tours to Iraq.  He has participated in several training events ranging from NEO’s and MCCRES to Mohave Viper at 29 Palms, California.  He served as the Ammunitions Handling NCO aboard the USS Trenton during the 1990 Malta Summit and the Tunisian PHIPLEX.  His primary MOS as a SNCO, before becoming a First Sergeant/Sergeant Major, was Motor Transport Operations Chief.  He also held a secondary MOS of Drill Instructor and an alternate as a Primary Marksmanship Instructor.  In addition to his MOS schools, he has graduated from NCO School (1989), the Marine Corps Air Movement planners Course (1992), resident and non-resident Career Course (1997), resident and non-resident Advanced Course (2001), Cooper Institute for Physical Fitness Specialist (2002), and the Naval Command Fitness Leaders Course (2002).  He has completed all of his required PME to include War Fighting Skills (2003), and Amphibious Warfare School part one (2004), and the Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education (2009).  He has attended multiple career enhancing schools ranging from Instructional Management School to the Military Justice and Civil Law Course in San Diego, California (2008).  Over the past couple of years he has completed three online courses at City University out of Seattle, WA.  He has two classes to complete before receiving an AA in general studies.       

His decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal in lieu of third award, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon in lieu of third award, Iraqi Campaign Medal in lieu of second award, Humanitarian Service Medal, National Defense Ribbon in lieu of second award, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal in lieu of seventh award, Marine Corps Recruiting Ribbon, and the Marine Corps Drill Instructor Ribbon in lieu of second award. 

Sergeant Major Ward is the proud father of a six year old son by the name of Tommy Maxwell Ward.