Uncle Sgt Maj Collins…

Uncle Sgt Maj Collins…
4th of july decorations
Image by Jim Larrison
Sergeant Major Joel A. Collins enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1989. He attended Marine Recruit Training at San Diego, CA and graduated as a private First Class. From there he was sent to Marine Combat Training at Camp Pendleton in January 1990.

After MCT, PFC Collins reported to his formal MOS School at Marine Corps Engineering School, Camp Lejeune, NC in February, 1990. There, he learned the basic skills of the Landing Support Specialist MOS. PFC Collins graduated first in his class andwas meritoriously promoted to Lance Corporal in May 1990. Upon graduation he received orders to 2nd Landing Support Battalion, Camp Lejeune, NC.

Lance Corporal Collins reported to 2nd LSB in May 1990 and was assigned to Beach and Terminal Operations Company. In August, 1990 he deployed to Saudi Arabia and participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Returning from the Persian Gulf in April 1991, he was meritoriously promoted to Corporal and then transferred to the Shore Party Platoon, Marine Service Support Group 22, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable).

Serving with the 22nd MEU (SOC) from April 1991 to April 1993, Corporal Collins went on two 6 month LF6F deployments. During this time he served as a squad leader, platoon guide, and platoon sergeant. He also graduated from Non Commissioned Officer’s School and was promoted to Sergeant in February, 1993.

Transferring back to BTO Company, 2nd LSB in April 1993 Sergeant Collins served as a platoon sergeant and was the NCOIC for an 11 man Helicopter Support Team (HST) sent to conduct lifts with the Rotary Wing Test Squadron, Patuxent Naval Air Station, MD. Reenlisting in November, 1993, Sergeant Collins volunteered for Drill Instructor duty.

He attended Drill Instructor School at MCRD Parris Island, SC in April 1994 and in July was assigned to Hotel Company, 2nd Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment. Sergeant Collins worked as a Drill Instructor, and Close Combat Instructor while assigned to MCRD Parris Island.

In July 1996 he was assigned to 2nd Landing Support Battalion, Camp Lejeune, NC for duty as a Shore Party platoon sergeant. Promoted to Staff Sergeant in June 1997, he was assigned to MSSG-26, 26th MEU (SOC) and did two deployments with the MEU as a platoon sergeant, logistics chief, and Group Gunnery Sergeant.

Promoted to Gunnery Sergeant in January 2001, Gunnery Sergeant Collins was transferred to the 2nd Marine Division and assigned to 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion as the logistics chief and then to the G-4 Embarkation Section as the Division’s Embarkation Inspector on the Logistics Readiness Team. During this time he graduated from the Combat Service Support Chief Course (honor graduate) and the Advanced Course at the SNCO Academy, Camp Lejeune, NC.

In May 2002 Gunnery Sergeant Collins was assigned to Northwestern University, Evanston, IL as the Assistant Marine Officer Instructor for the Naval ROTC. He was the primary advisor to the Rifle Pistol Team, Drill Cadre, and physical training for all students. As the AMOI to the Marine Cadre, he served as the assistant instructor for academics, and he organized field training operations for the student’s preparation to attend Officer Candidate School. During his tour as an AMOI he served two summers as a Platoon Sergeant at Marine Officer Candidate School.

He was selected for promotion to First Sergeant in December 2004 and in February 2005 was transferred to 2D Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, 29 Palms, CA for duty as the First Sergeant for Golf Company. In July 2005 he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom with Company G, serving in Fallujah and the Ameriyah/Ferris Town regions of Iraq. Upon return, in January 2006, he was assigned as the First Sergeant to Echo Company. He redeployed in support of OIF as the Company E First Sergeant in January 2007 serving in Zaidon and Al Kharma, Iraq.

On 14 January, 2008 Sergeant Major Collins was promoted to his current rank and assumed the duties as the Sergeant Major, Wounded Warrior Battalion (East) at Camp Lejeune, NC in February, 2008 to January 2011.

On 13 January, 2011 Sergeant Major Collins assumed the duties as the Sergeant Major, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Divison.

His personal decorations include the Navy and Marine Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device and 3 Gold Stars, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with 1 Gold Star, and the Combat Action Ribbon with 1 Gold Star.