Sergeant Major Luis M. Leiva enlisted into the United States Marine Corps in May 1990 through the delay entry program. In March 1991, he entered Recruit Training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina.
Upon completion of recruit training in June 1991, Private Leiva received orders to Ft. Sill, OK for Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) training as a Field Artillery Cannoneer (0811). After completing Field Artillery Cannoneer School in September 1991, Private First Class Leiva was assigned to Charlie Btry, 1st Bn, 12th Marines, 3rd MarDiv at Kaneohe Bay, HI. PFC Leiva was assigned to 1st Bn, 12th Marines from October 1991 to June 1995, where he was promoted to the ranks of Lance Corporal and Corporal.
Cpl Leiva then transferred to Marine Corps Security Forces Company (MCSF Co.), Yorktown, VA for duty from June 1995 to July 1997. While assigned to MCSF Co., he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. While there, he held billets as the Corporal of the Guard and Sergeant of the Guard. Upon completion of duty, he received orders to Btry L, 3rd Bn, 12th Marines in Okinawa, Japan.
While stationed in Okinawa, Japan, he served as a Section Chief with Btry L, 3rd Bn, 12th Marines, the Administrative Chief for 3rd Bn, 12th Marines S-1 and as the Local Security Chief for HQ Btry, 3rd Bn, 12th Marines. He was promoted to the rank of SSgt while assigned to 3rd Bn, 12th Marines. SSgt Leiva was stationed in Okinawa, Japan from July 1997 to July 2001.
Upon completion of duty in Okinawa, SSgt Leiva received orders to the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center (MWTC) where he was certified as a Summer Mountain Leader in October 2001. He also held the billet of Training Center Training Chief. While assigned to MWTC, he applied for and received orders to the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI). SSgt Leiva was stationed at MWTC from July 2001 to January 2003.
Upon completion of DEOMI in April 2003, he was then transferred to the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC), 29 Palms, CA to be the Equal Opportunity Advisor (EOA) to the Commanding General of MCAGCC. He was promoted to the rank of Gunnery Sergeant on 1 November 2003. Upon completion of his successful tour as the Combat Center EOA in May 2006, he received orders to Btry L, 3rd Bn, 12th Marines where he served as the Battery Gunnery Sergeant. While serving as the Btry GySgt with Btry L, 3rd Bn, 12th Marines, he was deployed to Iraq from September 2006 to April 2007, where he operated out of several areas within the Al Anbar Province. Upon returning from Iraq, and because of his selection to First Sergeant, he was transferred to HQ Btry 3rd Bn, 11th Marines where he served as the Battery First Sergeant. He was promoted to the rank of 1stSgt on 1 April 2008 and in June 2008 he received orders to 2d Combat Engineer Battalion (CEB), 2d MarDiv, Camp Lejeune, NC.
Upon checking in to 2d CEB in July 2008, he was assigned as the 1stSgt for the Mobility Assault Company (MAC). In June 2009, 1stSgt Leiva assumed the duties as the 1stSgt for Support Company, 2d CEB. It was during this time he deployed to Afghanistan from Oct 2009 to May 2010 where he operated out of several areas within the Helmand Province. Upon returning from Afghanistan he was reassigned to serve as the 1stSgt for Charlie Company until he was reassigned in September 2010 as the 1stSgt for Bravo Company, also known as the Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Company.
In February 2012, 1stSgt Leiva executed orders to serve as the Senior Enlisted Advisor (SEA) to the Commanding Officer (CO), Camp Mujuk, Republic of Korea. His responsibilities included serving as the liaison between Camp Mujuk, Marine Corps Forces Korea (MARFORK), Marine Corps Installations Pacific (MCIPAC) and the Republic of Korea Marine Corps (ROKMC). He served in that capacity for fourteen months before receiving orders to 2d Maintenance Battalion, Camp Lejeune, NC. In April 2013, he reported to 2d Maintenance Battalion where he was assigned as the 1stSgt for General Support Maintenance (GSM) Company.
In November 2013, 1stSgt Leiva was selected for promotion to the rank of Sergeant Major (SgtMaj), where upon his promotion in January 2014, he executed orders to serve as the Squadron SgtMaj for Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron (H&HS), MCAS New River, NC. He served in that capacity for almost three years before receiving orders in September 2016 to serve as the battalion SgtMaj for 8th Engineer Support Battalion (ESB), 2d Marine Logistics Group (MLG), Camp Lejeune, NC. He served as 8th ESB SgtMaj for almost 18 months before receiving and executing orders in February 2018 to Okinawa, Japan where he is currently serving as the 4th Marine Regiment / Camp Schwab SgtMaj.
SgtMaj Leiva’s personal decorations include: the Meritorious Service Medal with gold star in lieu of subsequent award, Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal with four gold stars in lieu of subsequent award, the Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal with gold star in lieu of subsequent award and the Combat Action Ribbon with gold star in lieu of subsequent award. He is also the recipient of the Honorary St. Barbara’s Medal, Patriot Saint of Field Artillery.