Sergeant Major Don J. Hernandez hails from Lubbock, Texas. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in July 1998 and attended Recruit Training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, CA. Upon completion of Recruit Training, Private Hernandez reported to the School of Infantry, Camp Pendleton, CA.
In March of 1999, Private First Class Hernandez reported to 4th Marine Regiment, Camp Schwab Okinawa, Japan. In March, 2000 he was meritoriously promoted to Corporal and requested orders to Marine Security Guard Battalion in Quantico, Virginia. Corporal Hernandez graduated Marines Security Guard School in July of 2000. He subsequently served at the United States Embassies in Bangkok, Thailand and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Sergeant Hernandez reported to Company A, 1st Battalion, 2d Marines, in November of 2003. He served as the Assault Section leader, Machine Section Leader, Mortar Section Leader, and 2nd Platoon Sergeant. During his tour he was promoted to Staff Sergeant, and supported two combat deployments to Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).
In June of 2006 Staff Sergeant Hernandez received orders to 1st Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team Company, Marine Security Forces. Throughout his tour, he served as a Platoon Sergeant and Company Gunnery Sergeant. In 2007 he deployed to U.S. Seventh Fleet, Yokosuka, Japan and embarked aboard the USS Blue Ridge for a six-month deployment. He also 2008 deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and was promoted to Gunnery Sergeant in April 2009.
In June 2009, Gunnery Sergeant Hernandez received orders to Company A, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines,. As part of the Ground Combat Element (GCE), Gunnery Sergeant Hernandez deployed with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit which supported many theater security cooperation exercises in 5th Fifth Fleet. Gunnery Sergeant Hernandez served in the billets of Weapons Platoon Sergeant, Company Gunnery Sergeant, and Company First Sergeant.
In July of 2012 Gunnery Sergeant Hernandez received orders to Company A, 8th & I, Marine Barracks, Washington D.C. While serving at 8th & I, he participated in three parade seasons and the 57th Presidential Inaugural Parade. In April 2015, he was promoted to First Sergeant.
In April of 2015, First Sergeant Hernandez received orders and reported to Bravo Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team Company, Marine Security Forces Regiment where he served as the Company First Sergeant.
In April of 2018, First Sergeant Hernandez received orders to Headquarters Battalion, 2d Marine Division and served as the Headquarters Company First Sergeant. In December, 2018 Sergeant Major Hernandez was selected to his current rank and reported to II MEF Support Battalion.
Sergeant Major Hernandez’s personal decorations include the Purple Heart Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with one gold star in lieu of second award, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with one gold star in lieu of second award, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and Combat Action Ribbon.