SgtMaj Michael Cato
Sergeant Major Michael Cato was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1975. He attended and graduated from Norwalk H.S. in June of 1993. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in February 1994 and completed recruit training at MCRD San Diego, CA on 18 July 1994 where he was meritoriously promoted to Private First Class. Following recruit training; he attended his Military Occupational School (MOS) at the School of Infantry West, Camp Pendleton, CA. where he was assigned the MOS 0313, Light Armored Vehicle Crewman (LAV).
In October of 1994, Private First Class Cato reported to Alpha Company, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR) Battalion. He deployed with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) aboard the USS Wasp to the Adriatic Sea in support of Operations Deny Flight, Joint Endeavor, and Provide Promise. Upon his arrival back home he was called to support Operation Agile Lion, in Stuttgart, Germany.
In January of 1998, Sergeant Cato was assigned to SOI West and was assigned to the Light Armored Vehicle Crewmen’s Course. He served in the billets of Instructor and Staff Non Commissioned Officer in Charge and obtained a secondary MOS of 0341 Mortarman.
In September of 2001 Sergeant Cato received orders to MCRD San Diego, CA. for Drill Instructor duty. Where he served in the following billets: Drill Instructor, Senior Drill Instructor, and Chief Drill Instructor for Lima Co., 3rd Recruit Training Battalion.
In January of 2005, Staff Sergeant Cato was transferred to 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, where he deployed to Fallujah, Iraq in support of OIF III with India Co, 1st Platoon.
In January of 2006 he received orders to 1st Battalion, 5th Marines and was assigned to Alpha Co., Boat Company. He completed the Navigators course in Coronado, CA. and then deployed with the Battalion in July 2006 to Okinawa, Japan as part of the 31st MEU, where they conducted PHIBLEX and multiple boat raids in foreign shores. He served in the following billets: Weapons Platoon Sergeant, Trailer Platoon Commander, Co GySgt.
In February of 2007, Gunnery Sergeant Cato received orders to Annapolis, Maryland where he reported to the United States Naval Academy for duty and served as the 10th Company Senior Enlisted Advisor and the Leatherneck Senior Enlisted Advisor until September of 2009.
In September of 2009, First Sergeant Cato reported to 1st Battalion, 1st Marines as the Bravo Company 1stSgt, where they deployed with the 13th MEU. Upon return to CONUS he received orders to CLR-17, HQ Co., 1st MLG.
From January 2012 to February 2014, First Sergeant Cato was the Headquarters Company 1stSgt, for HQ Reg, 1st MLG, aboard Camp Pendleton Ca.
In February of 2014 he was assigned as the Redeployment, Retrograde in support of Reset and Reconstitution Operations Group (R4OG) Sergeant Major, OEF Rotation 5, Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, attached to MARCENT. Where the unit’s mission was to retrograde all the Marine Corps equipment out of country and send it back home to Logistics Command for reallocation.
In April of 2016, he reported to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (VMM-265), where he served as the Aviation Combat Element, Sergeant Major, for the 31st MEU from May 2015 to May 2016. VMM-265 detached from the 31st MEU during May of 2016 and resumed operating under Marine Aircraft Group 36.
In November of 2016, He reported to Combat Assault Battalion, 3d Marine Division where he served as the Battalion Sergeant Major from November 2016 to April of 2018 where he was assigned his current billet as the Marine Air Control Group 18, Sergeant Major.
Sergeant Major Cato’s personal decorations include: Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon.