Master Sergeant Cruz serves as the Recruiter Instructor for Prior Service Recruiting Station 12, for 12th Marine Corps District.
Master Sergeant Cruz was born on January 26 1976 in Toledo, Ohio. He moved to San Marcos, Texas at the age of 4 and graduated from San Marcos High School in May 1994. After attending Texas State University from August 1994 until December 1995 he decided to join the United States Marine Corps. On February 24, 1996, at the age of 20, Master Sergeant Cruz enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program. On March 11, 1996 he departed for Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) San Diego, CA. He graduated from recruit training on May 23, 1996.
In June 1996, Private Cruz reported for duty at Marine Combat Training Camp Pendleton, CA. Upon completion of Marine Combat Training he received orders to Millington, TN for the Aviation Support Equipment Mechanic Course (MOS 6071) beginning July 1996. After successful completion of the course, Private First Class Cruz reported to NAS JAX Jacksonville, FL for “C” school as an Aviation Support Equipment Hydraulic Technician (MOS 6072) in November1996.
In April of 1997, Private First Class Cruz reported to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 14 (MALS-14), Marine Air Group 14 (MAG 14), 2nd Marine Air Wing, aboard Cherry Point, NC. As a Ground Support Mechanic with 900 Division, MALS-14 he was assigned as a Collateral Duty Inspector (CDI) and work center supervisor for shops 910 and 930. While attached with MALS-14, he was meritoriously promoted to the rank of Corporal for winning the MAG-14 “Marine of the Year 1998”.
Sergeant Cruz was released from active duty on March 10, 2000. He then joined the Active Reserve program on March 14, 2000 with orders to NAS JRB Ft Worth, TX with Marine Air Group 41, 4th Marine Air Wing as a member of the Pre-Positioned Wartime Reserve Materials (P/WRM) program. In April of 2000, Sergeant Cruz reported back to NAS JAX Jacksonville, FL for “C” School for training as an Aviation Support Equipment Electrical Technician (MOS 6073). Sergeant Cruz successfully completed the course in August of 2000 and reported back to his parent command at NAS JRB Ft Worth, TX. In 2002, Staff Sergeant Cruz was awarded his first Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for the work he did as the SNCOIC for the P/WRM program. While working with MAG-41, Staff Sergeant Cruz attended and graduated from Columbia College of Missouri with a Bachelor’s Degree majoring in History.
In 2004, Staff Sergeant Cruz volunteered and was selected for Prior Service Recruiting (PSR) duty. He reported to MCRD San Diego in July 2004. Upon completion he received orders and joined 8th Marine Corps District (MCD) as a production recruiter in September 2004. SSgt Cruz served as a production recruiter in Ft Worth and San Antonio, TX along with Phoenix, AZ. SSgt Cruz represented 8th MCD as the Prior Service Recruiter of the Year for FY07. During his time as a production recruiter, Staff Sergeant Cruz received a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.
Gunnery Sergeant Cruz applied for the Career Recruiter (MOS 8412) program and was accepted in 2007. He was then transferred to San Antonio, TX as the PSR SNCOIC for San Antonio, Houston, and Lubbock, TX along with Phoenix, AZ and Denver, CO. Gunnery Sergeant Cruz was responsible for a total of 7 production recruiters, which was the largest area for any PSR SNCOIC in Western Recruiting Region. In October 2009, Gunnery Sergeant Cruz attended completed the Career Recruiters Course at MCRD San Diego. He was 8th MCD’s PSR SNCOIC of the Year for FY10. In June 2010, Gunnery Sergeant Cruz attended and completed the SNCO Advanced Academy at Camp Pendleton, CA. During his time as a SNCOIC for 8th MCD, Gunnery Sergeant Cruz received his second Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.
In September 2010, Gunnery Sergeant Cruz submitted for the 12th MCD’s PSR Operations Chief billet. In October, Gunnery Sergeant Cruz was selected and then transferred in November 2010. Gunnery Sergeant Cruz officially began the duties of Operations Chief on December 2, 2010 until June 5th 2013.
As of June 6th, 2013 Master Sergeant Cruz serves as the Recruiter Instructor for Prior Service Recruiting Station 12, 12th Marine Corps District aboard Camp Pendleton, CA. His personal decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2nd award) and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3rd award). He was married to the former Patricia Pina of San Marcos, TX on June 18th, 1994. They live in Temecula, CA and have one son: Mario Rey (19).