Sgt. Maj. Marin accepts reins
Command Sgt Major Hector G. Marin greets a Soldier at the Aberdeen Proving Ground Top of the Bay dining facility in Maryland.

EDGEWOOD, Md. - For Command Sgt. Maj. Hector G. Marin, the journey from meager surroundings of Honduras to the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering command's senior enlisted position was one of perseverance and pride.

Marin accepted his new position as the RDECOM Command Sergeant Major during a recent Assumption of Responsibility ceremony hosted by Maj. Gen. Fred D. Robinson, RDECOM's commanding general. In accepting the position as the RDECOM command sergeant major, the organization's senior noncommissioned officer and senior advisor to the commanding general in all matters pertaining to enlisted personnel, mentor and counselor for subordinate command sergeants major, and leader of a composite team of sergeants major at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.

Marin also provides leadership in the areas of: Soldier retention; noncommissioned officer professional development; Soldiers' quality of life issues throughout the Command and a variety of other programs.

Born in Honduras, Marin's family moved to the United States (the Bronx, NY) when he was 11. Here, he discovered a world full of opportunities he would soon take advantage of.

"When you grow up in a poor country, you have aspirations of what you want to be but few opportunities," said the 26 year veteran. "When my family arrived in the states, I began taking advantage of everything that was offered. The education, the culture so many other things became available. A lot of people take those simple things for granted and waste the opportunity to excel. I didn't want to waste it."

And take advantage he did. Entering the military after graduating from Manhattan Vocational Technical High School, Marin has held a variety of positions throughout the Army and in addition has earned his associate degree and bachelor's degree in Professional Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle University.

"I joined the Army I was 17 years old. I graduated from high school and went into the Army soon after," Marin said. "I wanted to join the Army and I believed in was my duty to repay the country in any way possible. I guess I felt a sense of patriotism and a way of saying thanks."

After his initial 4 year tour he entertained thoughts of getting out but determined that life was not greener on the other side of the fence.

"I found out a lot of the guys saying they had jobs lined up for after the military wasn't true. I sent out resumes and I learned quickly that employers wanted men with experience, real experience.

"Staying in wasn't a hard decision for me. I liked the structure and discipline so I decided to stay in and reenlisted for six more years," he said. The rest is history.

He moved up in military rank quickly, attending numerous military schools including the Army Master Fitness Course, Army Aviation Safety Course, Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course, Advance Noncommissioned Officer Course and First Sergeant's Course, and the Sergeants Major Academy.

"A command sergeant major is a Soldier who comes from the ranks and gets to a position where he has two overarching tasks: taking care of Soldiers and supporting the commander," Marin who is married with one son. "The more I learn about this vast enterprise that is RDECOM, the more I realize that at the end of the day each Soldier and Department of the Army civilian in their own way, also take care of Soldiers. It is more subtle and less trumpeted than what I do perhaps, but as the headlines prove everyday it is just as vital."

Marin's next step is determining what he can do today for the men and women of tomorrow's Army while maintaining focus on today's Soldiers.

"A leader's goal is determining what their legacy will be. What have you done for the organization that will continue after you are long gone' It's those types of decisions that help the organization move in to the future," he said.

For today's Soldiers, Marin has the highest degree of respect, admiration and pride.

"When I greet new Soldiers I try to always start out with a thank you for their service. That's because they are entering knowing the situation, that we are a nation at war and that their country needs them. Their dedication and courage is tremendous. The advice I give them is to follow and listen to their leaders and to place faith and trust in the change of command," he said.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16