The Marine Corps officially instated Sergeant Major Carlos A. Ruiz to serve as the 20th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps. He comes to this position with over 30 years of service, having most recently held the position of Command Senior Enlisted Leader for U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve and U.S. Marines Corps Forces South. Ruiz steps into the role, replacing Sergeant Major Troy E. Black, who is stepping into his new role as the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
A native of Agua Prieta, Mexico, Ruiz joined the Marine Corps out of Phoenix, Arizona in November1993. He attended recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California and began his career as a warehouse clerk with 3rd Supply Battalion, 3rd Force Service Support Group, in Okinawa, Japan.
During his 30-year career, Ruiz served in a variety of different roles for multiple special duty assignments. He was an enlisted leader who has served with 1st Service Support Group; 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment; 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment; and 4th Marine Logistics Group. He deployed in operating forces for Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and operations with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.
Outside of the Marine Corps operating forces, Ruiz has served as a recruiter in Los Angeles, a drill instructor with 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, MCRD San Diego and as an instructor, drill master and chief instructor for Drill Instructor School, MCRD San Diego.
He has deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and operations with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. He will serve as Commandant of the Marine Corps’ preeminent enlisted advisor with a protocol equivalency of a three-star general officer. The Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps typically serves a four-year term, though service in the position is at the discretion of the Commandant. The post of Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps was established in 1957 as the senior enlisted advisor to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, the first such post in any of the branches of the United States Armed Forces.
Upon officially being handed the title, Ruiz expressed his desire to continue his service and better the Corps as a whole. In a public video announcement, Ruiz stated: “We must discipline our day and train hard with the goal of being better versions of ourselves than yesterday…I look forward to seeing you on the field and listening to you and your ideas.”
Sgt. Maj. Black also spoke highly of Ruiz, saying, “Sergeant Major Ruiz’s accomplishments and successes as a leader make him the perfect Marine to serve as the 20th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps. I am absolutely certain he will be a relentless advocate for our warfighters and their families, and my wife, Stacie, and I wish his family the very best as they embark on this special and noble journey.”