MSgt James Sturla, USMC (Retired)

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MSgt James Sturla, USMC (Retired)

Master Sergeant James M. Sturla, United States Marine Corps, is a native of Pompton Plains, New Jersey.  He enlisted in the Marine Corps after high school in August 1997, and reported to Parris Island, South Carolina.  Master Sergeant Sturla graduated boot camp in October and was meritoriously promoted to Private First Class and received orders to Fort Knox, Kentucky.  After completion of his primary military occupational specialty school, he proceeded to his first assignment at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

In March 1998, Master Sergeant Sturla reported to Bravo Company, 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division.  During this time he was promoted to Lance Corporal and deployed with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard the USS Nassau in support of Operation Joint Guardian and Operation Noble Anvil.  Upon completion of the deployment he was promoted to the rank of Corporal and deployed again, this time with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard the USS Nassau. In September of 2000, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. 

In 2001, Master Sergeant Sturla received orders to Marine Corps Security Force Battalion where he served as a Cadre Instructor for Commander Naval Forces Marianas in Santa Rita, Guam. 

In October 2003, Master Sergeant Sturla received orders to Alpha Company, 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division.  In 2004 he was promoted to Staff Sergeant and deployed to Iraq in support of combat operations in the Al Anbar Province.  In September 2004, the Purple Heart was awarded to Master Sergeant Sturla for wounds received in action during combat operations in Husaybah, Iraq.  In 2005, he served as the Staff Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge and helped establish the Wounded Warrior Barracks in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.  In 2006, Master Sergeant Sturla deployed back to Iraq where he served as the Company Master Gunner for Charlie Company, 2nd Tank Battalion.

In September 2007, Master Sergeant Sturla received orders to Marine Corps Embassy Security Group.  He was assigned as the Detachment Commander for Jakarta, Indonesia in 2008 and was promoted to the rank of Gunnery Sergeant in October 2008.  In 2009, Master Sergeant was assigned as the Detachment Commander in Zagreb, Croatia where he received the Detachment of the Year award in 2010.  

In 2010, Master Sergeant Sturla received orders to 2nd Tank Battalion, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, where he served as a Platoon Sergeant and Company First Sergeant for Echo Company.  In January 2012, Master Sergeant Sturla was selected for an Individual Augmentee Billet serving as the Staff Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge, Country Coordination Element, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa.  In 2013, Master Sergeant Sturla returned back to 2nd Tank Battalion and served as the Tank Leader for Alpha Company. 

In June 2014, Master Sergeant Sturla was assigned to Marine Corps Detachment Fort Benning, Georgia where he served as the Tank Leader for the Basic Entry Level Students attending the Marine Armor Crewman Course. In June 2015, Master Sergeant Sturla was assigned as the Operations Chief and was promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant in January 2016.  In November 2017, Master Sergeant Sturla retired from active duty and currently serves as the Marine Instructor for the Marine Corps JROTC Program at Smiths Station High School in Alabama.

Master Sergeant Sturla’s personal decorations include the Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with (2) gold stars, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with (1) gold star, Combat Action Ribbon, Kosovo Campaign Medal with (1) bronze star, Iraqi Campaign Medal with (1) bronze star, Marine Security Guard Ribbon, and the NATO Medal.

Master Sergeant Sturla is married to the former Alison Intindola of Pompton Plains, New Jersey.  They live in Midland, Georgia and have three children: Jordan (18), Haley (17), and Michael (9).