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.

In March 1998, Master Sergeant Sturla reported to 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division.  During this time he deployed with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard the USS Nassau in support of Operation Joint Guardian and Operation Noble Anvil.  

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 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division 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 2nd Tank Battalion, in Fallujah, Iraq.

In September 2007, Master Sergeant Sturla received orders to Marine Corps Embassy Security Group and was assigned as the Detachment Commander for Jakarta, Indonesia in 2008 and then in 2009 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, Tank Leader and Company First Sergeant.  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 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 and as the Operations Chief.  Master Sergeant Sturla retired on 10 November 2017 and began working as the Marine Instructor for 

Master Sergeant Sturla’s awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Purple Heart, 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, Haley, and Michael.