Sergeant Major Gary L. Ortega Sr. enlisted into the United States Army on 4 January 1987 in his home town of Los Angeles, California. He completed Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, as an Artilleryman.
He has served in various duty positions including, Senior enlisted advisor, Operation Sergeant Major, J2/J3 Sergeant Major, Assistant Inspector General, First Sergeant/ Sergeant Major, Intel Sergeant, Chief of Firing Battery, Platoon Sergeant, Recruiting & Retention NCO, Gunnery Sergeant, and Section Chief.
Sergeant Major Ortega’s assignments include Senior enlisted advisor, Kandahar, Afghanistan, Director Sergeants Major Academy USASMA, Operations Sergeant Major, Taji, Iraq, Assistant Inspector General Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, 104th Training Brigade, 257th Heavy Trans, 63rd ARCOM, 1/11th FA, FT. Lewis, WA,1/18th FA, Augsburg, FRG.
His military education includes USASMA Class 32, Inspectors General Course, Battle Staff NCO Course, Basic Intelligence Analyst Course, Command Level Pre Command Course, Advanced Non-Commissioned Officer Course, RC-3 Battle Focused Instructor Training Course, 79D Career Counselor Course, 00E Basic Recruiting Course, Basic Non-Commissioned Officer Course, PLDC, Small Arms Munitions Course, and Combat Life Saver Course. His civilian education includes a Master’s degree, Webster Univ., Bachelor’s Degree, Excelsior College, Teaching Credentials, Fresno Pacific Univ.
Sergeant Major Ortega’s awards and decorations include Bronze Star (1 oak leaf), Joint Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Commendation, Army Achievement Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal with one star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M device, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon with Numeral 4, Afghanistan Campaign Ribbon, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon with numeral 4, Driving Badge (track), Master Recruiter Badge, and Career Counselor Badge.
SGM Ortega is married to his lovely wife of 40 years, Georgiane and has four children and four grandchildren.