Sergeant Major Juan M. Hidalgo Jr. was born and raised in San Diego, CA. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1984 and attended recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) San Diego, CA. He was meritoriously promoted to private first class upon completion of recruit training and reported to the Armor School, Fort Knox, KY, for the Basic Tank Crewman Course. Upon completion, he was meritoriously promoted to lance corporal.
Sergeant Major Hidalgo then reported to Recruiting Station, San Diego as a Recruiter’s Aide and, upon completion of the tour, was meritoriously promoted to corporal. In 1985, he reported to Tracked Vehicle Company C, 1st Tank Battalion, Camp Pendleton, CA, where he served as a gunner, tank commander, and section leader. He was promoted to sergeant during this assignment.
In October 1989, Sergeant Major Hidalgo received orders to MCRD, San Diego. He was assigned to Company A, First Recruit Training Battalion. While at MCRD, he served as a drill instructor and senior drill instructor in Company A and Receiving Barracks. In January 1992, Sergeant Major Hidalgo reported to Company C, 3rd Tank Battalion, Twentynine Palms, CA. He served as a platoon sergeant, platoon commander, and tank leader during this tour and was promoted to staff sergeant.
In February 1995, Sergeant Major Hidalgo reported to Marine Detachment Fort Knox, KY, as a primary military occupational specialty instructor. During this tour, he served as a tank commander, section leader, tank leader, and special projects staff noncommissioned officer.
In August 1998, Sergeant Major Hidalgo reported to Company B, 1st Tank Battalion, Twentynine Palms, CA. During this assignment he served as a platoon sergeant and company master gunner. In 1999, he was promoted to the rank of gunnery sergeant. Also, during this tour, he twice prepared and deployed his tank platoon with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and served as company gunnery sergeant and First Sergeant, Headquarters and Service Company. In December 2002 he was assigned to Company A, and deployed in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF) in January 2003.
Upon redeployment, Sergeant Major Hidalgo was promoted and assigned as First Sergeant, Support Company, Combat Service Support Battalion-10, 1st FSSG. In February 2004 He again deployed in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF)2. In September 2004 upon redeployment he served as Sergeant Major, Combat Service Support Battalion-10. In July 2005, Sergeant Major Hidalgo reported to Company F, Second Recruit Training Battalion, MCRD San Diego. During this tour, Sergeant Major Hidalgo was promoted to the rank of Sergeant Major.
In January 2007, Sergeant Major Hidalgo reported to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169, Camp Pendleton, CA, and deployed in support of OIF 06-08. He reported to 3d Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division, in August 2008 and on 15 March 2010 he reported to 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. In April 2013 he reported to Joint Task Force, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, US SOUTHCOM, and assumed the duties as the Joint Task Force, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba Sergeant Major. In April of 2015 Sergeant Major relinquished his responsibilities as the Joint Task Force Sergeant Major and subsequently retired on 1 Oct 2015.
One month after retiring from the Marine Corps Sergeant Major Hidalgo decided to continue service for country and run for the United States Congress. Sergeant Major Hidalgo became the Republican Party’s 2016/2018 Candidate for the 51st Congressional District. Although an unsuccessful run for congress Sergeant Major remains committed to God, Country, and Corps! Sergeant Major remains active in San Diego, Imperial and other California communities.
Sergeant Major Hidalgo earned his Associates Degree in General Studies from Central Texas College. He subsequently earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice (Summa cum laude) from Park University. He is a graduate of the National Defense University Keystone Executive Leadership Course. Sergeant Major Hidalgo also holds a First-Degree Black Belt from the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program.
Sergeant Major Hidalgo’s personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (fourth award), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (fourth award and combat “V” device), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (third award), Army Achievement Medal, and Combat Action Ribbon. Sergeant Major and his wife, Fran, reside in the heart of San Diego and the have three young adult children, Juan 3rd, Gabriel, and Alyssa.