Matthew Ayers enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in the Delayed Entry Program in August 2003 and attended Recruit Training at MCRD Parris Island, SC in December 2003. Following Recruit training, Private Ayers, attended the School of Infantry East, Camp Geiger, NC. Upon completion he was assigned the Infantry Rifleman Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 0311 and promoted to the rank of Private First Class (PFC) in June 2004. PFC Ayers reported to Extract Platoon, Reaction Force Company, at the Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF), Indian Head, MD. Upon completion of the CBIRF Basic Course 06-04 he was assigned the billets of Rifleman, Fire Team Leader, and Embark NCO. He was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal (LCpl) in February 2005. In late 2005 LCpl Ayers reported to India Company, 3d Battalion, 4th Marines, Twentynine Palms, CA where he served as a Fire Team Leader. In June 2006 LCpl Ayers was promoted to the rank of Corporal (Cpl). Cpl Ayers deployed to Al Qaim, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) 6-08 from September 2006 to May 2007. While in theater Cpl Ayers re-enlisted and volunteered to serve on a Special Duty Assignment (SDA) as a Combat Instructor at the School of Infantry East, Camp Geiger, NC. Cpl Ayers attended the Marine Combat Instructor Course (MCIC) 4-07 in September 2007 and obtained the 0913 MOS. Cpl Ayers was assigned to Delta Company, Infantry Training Battalion (ITB) where he would go on to hold the billets of Combat Instructor, Platoon Commander, Tactics Instructor, and Platform Instructor. Cpl Ayers was promoted to the rank of Sergeant (Sgt) in December 2007. In July 2009 Sgt Ayers was meritoriously promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant (SSgt) and obtained the 0369 MOS. In June 2010 SSgt Ayers completed Infantry Unit Leaders Course (IULC). Upon completion of his Special Duty Assignment in 2011, SSgt Ayers reported to Fox Company, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, Camp Lejeune, NC to serve as a Platoon Sergeant. From December 2011 to May 2012 SSgt Ayers deployed to Marjah, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). In the late summer of 2013 SSgt Ayers reported to the Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team Company Pacific (FASTPAC), Yokosuka, Japan to serve as Company Gunnery Sergeant and Operations Chief. While working for the Commander, U.S. Seventh Fleet (COMSEVENTHFLT) SSgt Ayers went underway on the U.S.S. Blue Ridge on multiple deployments throughout PACOM participating in a myriad of joint and service level exercises, and theater security cooperation (TSC). In August 2015 SSgt Ayers was promoted to the rank of Gunnery Sergeant (GySgt). In mid-2016 Gunnery Sergeant Ayers reported to Headquarters Company, 2d Marine Regiment, Camp Lejeune, NC to serve as the Company Gunnery Sergeant. From September 2016 to April 2017 GySgt Ayers deployed forward with 2d Marine Regiment to Moron, Spain in support of the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force – Crisis Response Africa (SPMAGTF-CRAF) 17.1. In November 2017 GySgt Ayers completed the Marine Advisor Course (MAC) aboard Fort Story, VA gaining the additional MOS of 0571 Foreign Security Force Advisor. In April 2018 GySgt Ayers was reassigned to serve as the Command Element Company First Sergeant for Task Force South West Rotation 3, II MEF. In October 2018 GySgt Ayers deployed forward to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Resolute Support. On 15 December 2018 he was frocked to the rank of First Sergeant (1stSgt). At the end of April 2019 1stSgt Ayers re-deployed from Helmand Province and was subsequently assigned to Marine Wing Support Squadron 471 in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he served as the Site First Sergeant, and currently serves as the Squadron Sergeant Major.
1stSgt Ayers’ personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat “C” Device and one Gold Star in lieu of Second Award, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with three Gold Stars in lieu of Fourth Award, Combat Action Ribbon, and a Flag Letter of Commendation.