Private Gonya attended recruit training at MCRD Parris Island in July of 1998 where he was meritoriously promoted to Private First Class. Private First Class Gonya attended Marine Combat Training and then Basic Automotive Mechanic School, where he was meritoriously promoted to Lance Corporal. In March of 1999 Lance Corporal Gonya executed orders to 1st Battalion, 11th Marines at Camp Pendleton, CA.
During his time with 1st Battalion, 11th Marines, Lance Corporal Gonya was meritoriously promoted to Corporal and later to Sergeant while serving as Shop Chief in the Battalion’s motorpool. In June of 2002, Sergeant Gonya received orders to MCRD San Diego.
Sergeant Gonya attended Drill Instructor School class 4-02 and was assigned to Hotel Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, where he was meritoriously promoted to Staff Sergeant. During his six cycles as a Drill Instructor and two cycles as a Senior Drill Instructor, Staff Sergeant Gonya was also named as the Regiment’s Drill Instructor of the Quarter in 2004. In July of 2005 Staff Sergeant Gonya executed orders to the Defense Language Institute-Foreign Language Center in Monterey, CA for training as an Arabic linguist.
While at the Defense Language Institute as a student in the Arabic Basic Course, Staff Sergeant Gonya also served as a platoon commander. Following his graduation from the Defense Language Institute, Staff Sergeant Gonya received orders to 1st Marine Logistics Group.
In April of 2007, Staff Sergeant Gonya was assigned to the 1st Marine Logistics Group G-2 to serve as a counter-intelligence interpreter. In January of 2008, Staff Sergeant Gonya deployed to Iraq in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM 8.1 and 8.2. During his tours in Iraq, Staff Sergeant Gonya served as a translator for the Commanding General’s personal security detail as well as a counter-intelligence interpreter. Staff Sergeant Gonya was promoted to Gunnery Sergeant in October of 2008 and returned to CONUS in February of 2009. Shortly after, he received orders to Bravo Company, Officer Candidate School, Quantico VA.
After serving as a Sergeant Instructor for the 10 week training cycle, Gunnery Sergeant Gonya proceeded on to Purdue University, West Lafayette IN, for duty as the Assistant Marine Officer Instructor. He returned to Officer Candidate School again in May of 2010 to instruct a six week training cycle with Hotel Company. Following his assignment to Purdue University, Gunnery Sergeant Gonya received orders to General Support Motor Transport Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 1 in September 2012.
Gunnery Sergeant Gonya served as the Company Gunnery Sergeant for General Support Motor Transport Company until he was temporarily assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 7 in September 2013. In December 2013, Gunnery Sergeant Gonya deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM 14.1 as the Motor Transport Maintenance Chief and returned to CONUS in July 2014. Upon his return, Gunnery Sergeant Gonya was assigned as the Company First Sergeant for Support Company, 1st Transportation Support Battalion. In December 2014, Gunnery Sergeant Gonya was selected to the rank of First Sergeant and received orders to 1st Battalion, 1st Marines.
First Sergeant Gonya immediately deployed to Okinawa, Japan in support of Unit Deployment Program (West) 15.1 and returned to CONUS in April 2015. He deployed again in April 2016, as Bravo Company First Sergeant, to Australia as part of Marine Rotational Force – Darwin and returned in October 2016. First Sergeant Gonya departed 1st Battalion, 1st Marines in March 2017 and executed orders to 2D Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion, Cherry Point, NC.
First Sergeant Gonya served as the Battery First Sergeant for Bravo Battery, 2D Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion from March 2017 until his promotion to Sergeant Major in March 2019. Following his promotion, Sergeant Major Gonya reported to his current assignment at Recruiting Station Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Sergeant Major Gonya currently resides in Albuquerque, NM with his wife April. His personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with four gold stars and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.