After 20 years in the United States Marine Corps, First Sergeant Juan F. Escalante has retired. His family celebrated this momentous occasion with him.
1stSgt Escalante was born in Kearny, and graduated from Hayden High School in 1993. He is the son of Johnny and Rosa Escalante, husband of Danyell Escalante and father to five children: Alyssa, Anicia, Antonio, Aviana and Amelia.
He enlisted in the Marine Corps on Nov. 21, 1996 and reported to MCRD San Diego,CA on January 13, 1997 for recruit training. Upon his graduation in April of 1997, he reported to Marine Combat Training at Camp Pendleton, where he was meritoriously promoted to Private First Class. He reported to Fort Lee, VA for Petroleum Specialist School.
Upon completion in June of 1997, he received orders to Okinawa, Japan. In August of 1997, Private First Class Escalante reported to MCAS Futenma, Okinawa, Japan, where he served as the Hot Refueling Pits NCO and was promoted to Lance Corporal. In July of 1998, he received orders to MCAS Yuma, AZ. In July of 1998, Lance Corporal Escalante reported to MWSS-371 Yuma, AZ where he served as Squadron Safety NCO Tool Room NCO, and Publications NCO.
In December of 2000, he received orders to MCAS Miramar, CA upon being promoted to Corporal. In January of 2001, Corporal Escalante reported to MWSS-373 Miramar,CA where he filled the billet of Assistant Embarkation Chief. In June of 2001, he deployed with HMM-165 as part of the 13th MEU.
On December 1, 2001 he was promoted to Sergeant. During this deployment, Sergeant Escalante deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Africa in support of Operation Anaconda. In June of 2002, Sergeant Escalante returned to MWSS-373 as a Platoon Sergeant and deployed in January of 2003 to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).
Sergeant Escalante returned in August of 2003, and assumed the billet of Embarkation Chief. In August of 204, he received orders to Drill Instructor School MCRD San Diego. Upon graduation from Drill Instructor School, Sergeant Escalante reported to Delta Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion. During this tour, he was promoted to Staff Sergeant and attended the Career Course at Camp Pendleton, CA.
In September of 2007, Staff Sergeant Escalante reported to Fort Lee, VA and completed the Advanced Bulk Petroleum School. In January of 2008, Staff Sergeant Escalante reported to 9th Engineer Support Battalion. He held the billet of Bulk Fuel Platoon Sergeant before being appointed the Security Platoon Chief. In September of 2008, he deployed to Iraq in support of OIF 9.1. Upon return from Iraq in May of 2009, Staff Sergeant Escalante was assigned as the Bulk Fuel Company Gunnery Sergeant. In May of 2010, SSgt Escalante was again deployed to Afghanistan in support of OEF 10.1 where he was promoted to Gunnery Sergeant on October 1st.
GySgt Escalante returned from Afghanistan in December 2010 and attended the Advanced Course in February 2011. Gunnery Sergeant Escalante graduated with various honors, to include the Gung Ho Award, Director’s Certificate for Physical Fitness, and Honor Roll for Highest Grade Point Average in the class.
In June 2011, Gunnery Sergeant Escalante reported to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, CA where he served as Bulk Fuel Responsible Officer for all ground fuel aboard Camp Pendleton. In June 2013, Gunnery Sergeant Escalante reported to Marine Wing Support Squadron 372 Camp Pendleton, CA where he served as Airfield Operations Company 1stSgt, and Headquarters and Service Company 1stSgt.
In January of 2015, First Sergeant Escalante was promoted to his current rank and reported to 1st Combat Engineer Battalion for duty as the Charlie Company 1stSgt. On September of 2015 he was reassigned to Mobility Assault Company, where he is currently the company 1stSgt.
First Sergeant Escalante’s awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3rd award), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.
Congratulations, Sgt. Escalante. And thank you for your service.