DAVID W. SOMMERS, USMC (RETIRED)
Sergeant Major David W. Sommers assumed the post as eleventh Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps on 27 June 1987.
Sergeant Major Sommers was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on 18 February 1943 and attended Bishop DuBourg High School. He enlisted in the Marine Corps on 25 March 1960. He underwent recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, then attended Infantry Training at Camp Pendleton, California.
Upon completion of Infantry Training, he was assigned as a Browning Automatic Rifleman with Company E, 2d Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, at Camp Pendleton. While with Company E, he was promoted to private first class, lance corporal, and corporal and served as a fire team leader and squad leader.
Transferring overseas with the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division, Sergeant Major Sommers served as a squad leader and platoon guide of Company D. Returning from overseas he reported to The Basic School, Quantico, Virginia, where he was assigned as a Hand-to-Hand Combat and Water Survival Instructor. While in this assignment, he was promoted to sergeant.
In 1964, he was transferred to Hawaii and assigned to Company K, 3d Battalion, 4th Marines, 1st Marine Brigade as a squad leader and subsequently deployed with that unit to the Republic of Vietnam in March 1965. During May of that year, he was assigned to the first Combined Action Company to be formed in Vietnam. He served as a squad leader and platoon commander of the Popular Forces Platoon. For his combat service in Vietnam, Sergeant Major Sommers was awarded the Purple Heart and Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V".
In April 1966, he was assigned to Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, for a tour as a drill instructor with Company K, 2d Recruit Training Battalion. While in this assignment, he was promoted to staff sergeant.
In 1968, he returned to Vietnam for a second tour, serving as Company Gunnery Sergeant of Headquarters Company, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. He transferred back to Parris Island the following year for duty as a Senior Drill Instructor with Company E, 2d Recruit Training Battalion. Upon promotion to gunnery sergeant, he was assigned to the Drill Instructor School he served as Drill Master.
From December 1973 until February 1974, he attended the Marine Security Guard School, and upon graduation, was assigned to the American Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, as Noncommissioned Officer-in-Change of the Marine Detachment.
Sergeant Major Sommers was transferred to Henderson Hall, Arlington, Virginia, in August 1975, to serve as Instructor and Chief instructor of the Marine Security Guard School. While in this assignment, he was promoted to master sergeant and later redesignated to the rank first sergeant.
During August of 1977, he reported to the 3d Force Service Support Group on Okinawa, where he was assigned to the 9th Engineer Support Battalion. Ordered back to Camp Pendleton, California, he was assigned as the First Sergeant of the Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity. He was promoted to sergeant major in October 1980, and was assigned to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, as the Sergeant Major of the 2d Recruit Training Battalion.
In June 1982, he was assigned to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, as the Sergeant Major of 1st Battalion, 10th Marines, 2d Marine Division. Ordered back to Quantico in December 1983, he served as the Sergeant Major of The Basic School. He then reported to the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center and 7th Marine Amphibious Brigade, Twentynine Palms, California, in July 1985, for duty as the Combat Center/7th Marine Amphibious Brigade Sergeant Major.
Sergeant Major Sommers was assigned as the first enlisted Director of the Staff Noncommissioned Officer Academy at the Marine Corps Combat Development Command in Quantico, Virginia, in June 1987. He was selected as the 11th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps on 18 June 1987, and assumed the post on 26 June 1987.
Sergeant Major Sommers' personal decorations include: The Legion of Merit; the Purple Heart; the Meritorious Service Medal with gold star in lieu of second award; the Navy Commendation Medal with combat "V" and two gold stars in lieu of second and third awards; the Navy Achievement Medal with gold star in lieu of second award; and the Combat Action Ribbon.
Sergeants Major of the Marine Corps