The Memorial's 47th Anniversary Celebration is 8/24/24 with a special performance by Dave Bray USA™. Donate $50 by 8/23 to get a general admission ticket. Click to learn more and get tickets.

Memorial Day 2023

Ceremony Starts at 2:00 pm. Please arrive by 1:30 pm

All photos by Matthew Rivera

SERGEANT MAJOR JAMES K PORTERFIELD, USMC

Sergeant Major Porterfield was born on 26 November 1970 in Jacksonville, Florida. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in March 1989 and completed recruit training at Marine Corps recruit Depot, San Diego, California. Upon completion in August 1989, he reported to Millington, Tennessee for basic avionics training. After graduation in March 1990, he was directed to report to MCAS Cherry Point for MOS specific training on AV-8B Harrier Comm/Nav/Wpns/Elec systems.

Following MOS school, he was assigned to Marine Attack Squadron 211 in July 1990. In June 1992, Sergeant Major Porterfield was attached to HMM-161 (REIN) 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit for Operation Desert Stay in Southwest Asia, Restore Hope in Somalia, operation Eager Mace in Kuwait and Operation Nautical Mantis in Saudi Arabia. In May 1993, his unit deployed to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan for the Unit Deployment Plan. In September 1996, he was attached to HMM-166 (REIN) as SNCOIC of the AV-8B detachment, 11th MEU, for Operation Southern Watch, returning in April 1997.

In September 1997, Sergeant Major Porterfield was transferred to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego where he served as a Drill Instructor, Senior Drill Instructor and Chief Drill Instructor assigned to Company M, Third Recruit Training Battalion. In April 2000, he then transferred to Drill Instructor School for duty as a squad instructor, serving as the General Military Subjects, Techniques of Military Instruction, Uniform Instructor and Curriculum Developer.

Ordered to MCAS Yuma in January 2002 Sergeant Major Porterfield reported to Marine Attack Squadron 214 as the Avionics Division NCOIC. Deploying in January 2003, he served as the Avionics Division Chief in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Southern Watch and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Upon his return from Iraq, he received orders to 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California. He served as Kilo Battery First Sergeant, 2nd Battalion 11th Marines, until January 2004, when he received orders to 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. Shortly after arriving he was assigned to Alpha Company and deployed in February 2004 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II and participated in the first push into Fallujah in April 2004. He then re-deployed back to Iraq for the third time participating in Operation Steel Curtain in Husaybah returning in March 2006.

He then reported to Recruiting Station Portland in March 2007, where he served as the RS Sergeant Major until December 2009 when he received orders to 1st Marine Division. Upon arrival he was assigned to 1st Reconnaissance Battalion and deployed to Afghanistan in May 2010, where he participated in Operation New Dawn in Trek Nawa and Eastern Endeavor in Sangin. In December 2011, he reported to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and served as the Sergeant Major, Recruit Training Regiment. In October 2013, Sergeant Major Porterfield was posted as the Sergeant Major, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and the Western Recruiting Region. In May 2016 he was assigned as Sergeant Major, Third Marine Aircraft Wing. In May 2018 he was assigned as the Sergeant Major, I Marine Expeditionary Force. In June 2021, Sergeant Major Porterfield assumed his current position as the Command Senior Enlisted Leader, North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command.
Sergeant Major Porterfield’s personal decorations include the Legion of Merit with two Gold Stars, Bronze Star Medal, and Meritorious Medal with Gold Star, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device and two Gold Stars, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device and three Gold Stars and the Combat Action Ribbon with Gold Star and Basic Airborne wings. Sergeant Major Porterfield also has a Bachelors’ Degree in Public Administration from Roger Williams University, graduate of the Keystone Course and was also a Distinguished Graduate of the Navy Senior Enlisted Academy.

Schedule

New Marines sworn in at 1:45. Formal ceremony starts at 2 pm.