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Marine Aircraft Group 31


Marine Aircraft Group 31

MAG 31 Leaders
Sergeant Major John R. Preston VMFAT-501 Sergeant Major

SgtMaj Preston entered the Marine Corps on 12 November 1997 at Parris Island, South Carolina. Upon completion of Recruit Training, School of Infantry, and the Basic Security Guard School, PFC Preston reported to the newly formed 2d Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team Company based out of Yorktown, Virginia.

In April 2001, Sgt Preston reported for duty as the Training Chief, Marine Forces Atlantic, Norfolk, VA. Sgt Preston was meritoriously promoted to the rank of SSgt while serving in this billet. While with MARFORLANT, he completed the Basic Airborne Course, Martial Arts Instructor Trainer Course, Small Arms Weapons Instructor Course, and the US Army’s SERE Course.

SSgt Preston reported to 1st Bn 8th Marines in January 2004, where he was assigned as the Alpha Company, Weapons Platoon Sergeant. His next duty assignment was with 2d Bn 2nd Marines where he deployed twice to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and was combat meritoriously promoted to Gunnery Sergeant. GySgt Preston completed the Infantry Unit Leaders Course and the Advanced Course while assigned to 2d Bn 2d Marines.

In July 2006, GySgt Preston reported to the School of Infantry – East, Camp Geiger, North Carolina for Special Duty Assignment as a Combat Instructor and Company Gunnery Sergeant with Alpha Company, Infantry Training Battalion. He later served as the Company Gunnery Sergeant for Advanced Infantry Training Company, the S-4 SNCOIC during the activation for Advanced Infantry Training Battalion and 1stSgt for Instructor Training Company. While at SOI-East, he attended the Marine Combat Instructor Course, the Navy’s Senior Enlisted Academy, Formal Schools Instructor Course and the Infantry Train the Trainer Course.

1stSgt Preston reported to 1st Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team Company, Marine Corps Security Force Regiment, Norfolk, Virginia in April 2010. 1stSgt Preston attended the Navy Senior Enlisted Legal Course, Russell Leadership Conference and was selected to attend the US Army’s Sergeant Major Academy. 1stSgt Preston graduated the Academy on the Commandant’s List in June of 2014.

He also completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Administration Management from Excelsior College.

In August 2014, 1stSgt Preston reported to Headquarters Company, Headquarters Regiment, 3d MLG, Camp Kinser, Okinawa for duties as the Company 1stSgt. He reported to 3d Transportation Support Battalion in December 2015, until June 2017, when he received orders to VMFAT-501 to be the Squadron Sergeant Major.

SgtMaj Preston’s personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two Gold Stars), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (Combat “V” and two Gold Stars), the Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal (Silver Star) and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.