Sergeant Major

Sergeant Major Michael Kim Kianka graduated in 1993 from Hopewell Valley Regional High School in Hopewell, New Jersey. He entered the delayed entry program on June 10, 1993, and began recruit training at Charlie Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C. on October 25, 1993. He completed Marine Combat Training and MOS school then was transferred to his first duty station in the fleet at Camp Hansen Okinawa, Japan.

Private First Class Kianka began his career at Engineer Company, 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd FSSG. In February 1995, Corporal Kianka volunteered to go on the USS Belleau Woods, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. Cpl Kianka travelled to mainland Japan, Guam, Singapore and Thailand where Cpl Kianka participated in Operation Cobra Gold. Upon returning from the MEU, he continued to play
intramural softball, volleyball and soccer where he was selected for the second time to the All Marine Pacific Soccer team, first squad and played in the All Marine Pacific where the Marines on the team again won the silver medal. In 1996 Cpl Kianka then was transferred to Headquarters and Support Battalion, H&S Company, Camp Pendleton, C.A. In 1996 Cpl Kianka participated in the Battalion softball, volleyball and soccer intramural teams and was selected to play in the All Marine Regional West Coast Soccer tournament. Cpl Kianka transferred to the Individual Ready Reserves in August 1997 in order to further his education at Mercer County Community College. In 1999, Cpl Kianka joined Marine Wing Support Squadron 474, Willow Grove Naval Air Station Pennsylvania. Cpl Kianka was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in April 2002. In May 2003 MWSS-472 was activated in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2004 Sgt Kianka deployed to Al Qa’im Iraq. Upon returning from Iraq, Sgt Kianka transferred to the IRR in order to complete his undergraduate degree at the College of New Jersey as a double major in History and Secondary Education.

In May 2006, Sergeant Kianka joined 3rd Battalion 14th Marines and was mobilized in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sgt Kianka was selected to be a member of the Police Transition Team Advisors and went to the Combat Advisors Course, Advisor Training Group, I MEF G-10, Camp Pendleton C.A. He was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant in July 2006. SSgt Kianka deployed to al Qa’im Iraq as a Police Transition Team Advisor, Iraqi Police Liaison for NATO forces, Local National Police Liaison Officer, Intel Officer, Operations Officer, Convoy Commander, 3rd Battalion 4th Marines local Police Liaison Officer, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, Al Anbar Province, Iraq. SSgt Kianka worked with Military Transition Team with the Iraqi Army 3-3-5 Brigade who was tasked with the security and stability
operations along the Iraqi/Syrian Boarder. While working with the Iraqi Army, Police, and Multi Agencies, SSgt Kianka helped the initial stand up of the Joint Reception Center at the Syrian Border in order to share resources and intelligence with 3rd Battalion 4th Marines, BTT, MTT, PTT, ODA, OGA and HET in order to share intelligence in Iraq along the Syrian border. SSgt Kianka was an advisor to the Haditha Police and assisted in the initial stand up of the security forces in the Haditha region. He assumed the roles of the SNCOIC of the PTT Advisors, 2nd Battalion 3rd Marines PTT liaison, Multinational Force Police liaison, Operations Officer, Intel Officer, and Convoy Commander. Staff Sergeant Kianka return from his combat tour to 3rd Battalion 14th Marines and assumed the role of Motor Transportation SNCOIC. He was promoted to Gunnery Sergeant in December 2009. In December 2011 GySgt Kianka transferred to 6th Engineer Support Battalion, Bravo Company in Wilmington D.E. and assumed the role of Company Gunnery Sergeant. GySgt Kianka was selected for the rank of First Sergeant in April 2013.

In May 2013, First Sergeant Kianka was assigned as the Headquarters and Service Company First Sergeant for 6th Motor Transport Battalion that deactivated and became Combat Logistics Battalion 25 in Red Bank, N.J. In July 2016, First Sergeant Kianka assumed the billet as Battery First Sergeant, Golf Battery 3rd Battalion 14th Marines, Fort Dix, N.J. and deployed with them to North Africa Morocco in support of African Lion working with the Tunisian Special Forces, Spanish Marines and Moroccan Army. First Sergeant Kianka was then transferred to Headquarters Battery and assumed the role as First Sergeant 3rd Battalion 14th Marines in Bristol, PA.

First Sergeant Kianka was promoted to Sergeant Major in April of 2018 and transferred to 1st Battalion 25th Marines. SgtMaj Kianka led 1/25 to an effective service level Integrated Training Exercise at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Training Center in Twenty-nine Palms. Throughout the next year, SgtMaj Kianka prepared the Battalion for its upcoming mobilization as part of the UDP in the IndoPaCom area of responsibility. SgtMaj Kianka supervised the Battalion as it mobilized with the five Company’s from across the North East, and over 70 different unit’s augmentees at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. The Battalion went directly into training, first at Fort AP Hill. After a successful mission rehearsal in Virginia,

SgtMaj Kianka effectively relocated the entire 1005 Marines and Sailors of the Battalion from the East Coast to the West Coast to fall under the umbrella of the 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. There the Battalion executed another service level Integrated Training Exercise as the ground element to the 8th Marine Regiment as they rehearsed their upcoming MAGTF operations for their deployment. Immediately after another successful milestone, SgtMaj Kianka led the Battalion in the Marine Corps Combat Readiness evaluation in order to deploy. The Battalion was ready for its upcoming mission and deployed to Okinawa, attaching to the 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division. Immediately upon arrival, 4th Marine Regiment sent 1/25 Marines across the Pacific with Marines supporting in Australia, mainland Japan, Korea, Okinawa and the Philippines. SgtMaj Kianka ensured the morale, discipline and development continued as the Battalion was spread across the IndoPaCom area of responsibility, with Marines from the Battalion graduating as Honor Grads and with distinction at PME and MOS advanced schools, MAIT courses, winning gold medals at the Far East Marksmanship Championship, at the open Tokyo Jujitsu Tournament with Marines collectively earning over 9 medals and placing 6th Team, Marines participating in over 100 community service events in every country the Battalion was operating, all while doing joint operations with the Japanese Self Defense Forces, the Korean Reconnaissance Marines from the 1st and 2d Korean Marine Divisions, the Marines and Special Forces from the Philippine Marine Corps. SgtMaj Kianka led the Battalion through the COVID Pandemic at the beginning stages while in South Korea, and the egress of the Battalion through the safety protocols from multi-countries policies back to the Marine Corps Ground Combat Center in 29 Palms, California. After several weeks of starting the Battalion’s demobilization process, successfully rewarding the outstanding efforts of the Marines and Sailors, SgtMaj Kianka supervised the warm hand off of all of the augmentees back to their parent units, and the Battalion demobilized back to their Company HTCs across the Northeast. Throughout the time of the deployment, SgtMaj Kianka was directly involved and ensured the Marines were rewarded and represented the Battalion by winning multiple Marine and NCO of the Quarter Boards, meritorious promotions, and international recognition for a successful deployment.

Sergeant Major Kianka was transferred to his current as the Sergeant Major of HMH 772 (-) in April of 2021. SgtMaj Kianka led the squadron to a successful Integrated Training Exercise back at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in 29 Palms, California, and the Raven Detachment in Mississippi supporting MARSOC for their upcoming deployment.

Sergeant Major Kianka’s awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon.