Sergeant Major Hector Soto-Rodriguez is a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico. He graduated from Widefield High School in Colorado Springs in December 1998 and enlisted into the Marine Corps as an infantryman on December 28, 1998
On March 26, 1999, Sergeant Major Soto graduated from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego California and was meritoriously promoted to the rank of Private First Class. Upon completion of recruit training, he received orders to the School of Infantry, Camp Pendleton California.
In May 2000, Sergeant Major Soto was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, Camp Pendleton, California and in October he deployed with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit as an Infantry Team Leader. During the deployment, he participated in humanitarian operations in East Timor, Operation Iron Magic in the United Arab Emirates and in Operation Determined Response in the port of Yemen.
After returning from deployment in January 2001, Sergeant Major Soto advanced to the billet of squad leader and was promoted to the rank of Corporal. In June 2002, he deployed again, this time with Battalion Landing Team 3/1 and the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. In December 2002, Sergeant Major Soto returned from deployment before re-deploying the following month in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During his deployment to Iraq, he served as a squad leader and a platoon sergeant.
In December 2003, Sergeant Major Soto was assigned to Drill Instructor School Class 1-04, MCRD San Diego. Upon completion of school he was assigned to Company D, First Recruit Training Battalion where he would serve as a Drill Instructor, Senior Drill Instructor, Series Chief Drill Instructor and earn a meritorious promotion to the rank of Staff Sergeant.
In December 2006, Sergeant Major Soto received orders to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines aboard Marine Corps Base, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. In 2007, he served as the Weapons Platoon Sergeant and later the Company Gunnery Sergeant. In 2008, he deployed to the Al Anbar Province, Iraq as the Convoy Commander for the Commanding Officer’s personal security detail. Immediately following this deployment, Sergeant Major Soto attended the Marine Corps Scout Sniper Course aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii and on April 2nd, 2008, he was meritoriously promoted to the rank of Gunnery Sergeant. In April 2009, Sergeant Major Soto once again deployed to Iraq, this time as the platoon sergeant for the battalions Scout Sniper Platoon.
In August 2009, Sergeant Major Soto received orders to Washington, DC after being selected for the Marine Corps’ Congressional Fellowship Program. In January 2010, he completed his tour in the United States House of Representatives where he served as a military advisor to Congressman Vic Snyder from Arkansas’ 2nd District. Between 2010 and 2012, Sergeant Major Soto worked out of the Pentagon as a member of Headquarters Marine Corps, Office of Legislative Affairs.
In May 2012, Sergeant Major Soto reported to Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, Officer Candidate School where he served as the Company First Sergeant for Company G. Upon completion of his tour at Officer Candidate School, he reported to 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines aboard Marine Corps Combat Training Center, 29 Palms, California. After his tour with 3/4, he received orders to MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina where he served as the Mike Company and Lima Company First Sergeant.
Sergeant Major Soto’s accomplishments include Honor Graduate of the Marine Corps’ Scout Sniper School and the Marine Corps’ Infantry Unit Leader’s Course and personal awards including the Meritorious Service Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.
Sergeant Major Soto-Rodriguez is married to the former Erica Mendes of Colorado Springs and they have three children. 15 year old Joel, 13 year old Levi and 10 year old Syra.