Meet the next Marine Corps Sgt

The top enlisted Marine in Marine Corps Forces Reserve and Marine Corps Forces South will assume his role sergeant major of the Marine Corps on Aug. 8, according to the Marine Corps.

Sgt. Maj. Carlos A. Ruiz will replace Sgt. Major Troy Blackwho has been in that job since 2019, according to a Marine Corps press release Monday.

Ruiz’s role will be to advocate for enlisted Marines and serve as an advisor to the commandant – the Marine Corps’ top leader.

On May 30, President Joe Biden designated General Eric Smith to become the next commander from July.

Smith’s confirmation may be delayed by the blocking of senior military nominees by Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Alabama, in protest of the Pentagon’s abortion policy.

A native of Phoenix, Ruiz enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1993, according to the news release.

After starting as a warehouse clerk, he became a leader in units throughout the Corps, according to the release. He has also served as a recruiter and drill instructor, as well as a lead drill instructor.

It has been deployed to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and with the 31st Naval Expeditionary Unit, according to the release.

Ruiz’s awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with Combat Commendation, Meritorious Service Medal with gold star, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with two gold stars, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with one gold star and the Battle Ribbon with a gold star, according to his official biography.

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Ruiz proposed in December 2022 to be the senior enlisted leader of the US Space Command, but had not taken on the role.

In 2013, when Ruiz was assuming the post of senior enlisted leader of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, he said, “My plan for this battalion is the same as it has been for every battalion I’ve been in. I will take care of my Marines and push them to maintain the standards that have been set for them and maintain their high level of discipline.”

Marine Corps sergeants typically serve four-year terms, at the pleasure of the commandant, according to the news release.

Irene Loewenson is a staff reporter for the Marine Corps Times. She joined the Military Times as an editorial associate in August 2022. She is a graduate of Williams College, where she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper.

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