Sergeant Major Samuel T. Erwin Jr. is a native of Plainfield, New Jersey. Following graduation from Park View Senior High School in South Hill, Virginia, he enlisted into the Marine Corps on 22 June 1993 from Recruit Station (RS) Petersburg, Virginia. On 24 January 1994 he reported for Marine Corps Recruit Training. On 15 April 1994 Private First Class Erwin graduated from Fox Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina. After graduation Private First Class Erwin attended Marine Combat Training at Camp Geiger, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina followed by Basic Combat Engineer School at Courthouse Bay, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina where he was awarded the Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) of 1371, Combat Engineer.
In July 1994, Private First Class Erwin reported to Bravo Company, 4th Combat Engineer Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Roanoke, Virginia. In December 1994 Lance Corporal Erwin completed Mountain Warfare Cold Weather Training at Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, Bridgeport, California. Lance Corporal Erwin held various billets to include Company Tool Room NCO, Incidental Motor Transport Operator in additional to his primary duty as a Fire Team Leader and later as Squad Leader. In January 1996 Lance Corporal Erwin completed the Artic Driver Certification Course. In January 1997 he was promoted to the rank of Corporal.
In July 1997 Corporal Erwin participated in Combined Air Ground Exercise (CAX) as a Squad Leader. Corporal Erwin also held the following billets Squad Leader, Tool Room NCO, Safety NCO, Hazardous Material Ammo Driver Operator and Toys for Tots Coordinator for the Southside Virginia area. In April 1999, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
Following his promotion Sergeant Erwin served as a Company Training NCO and Headquarters Platoon Sergeant. In June 2001 Sergeant Erwin graduated from the Sergeant Course, Camp Crowder, Neosho, Missouri. In February 2003 Sergeant Erwin graduated from the Urban Mobility Breacher Instructors Course from the Dynamic Entry School, Quantico, Virginia. Sergeant Erwin participated in Operation Resolute Warrior and Amphibious Operation Training (AOT). Sergeant Erwin held the following billets Squad Leaders, Demolitions and Breaching Instructor. In August 2003 he was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant.
Staff Sergeant Erwin served in the following billets: Platoon Sergeant, Platoon Commander, Company Nuclear Biological Chemical OIC, and Urban Breacher Instructor. In December 2004 Staff Sergeant Erwin’s transferred to 6th Communications Battalion, 4th Marine Logistic Group (MLG) Brooklyn, New York, as the Battalion Hazardous Material SNCOIC. Staff Sergeant Erwin also served as Heavy Equipment Chief for the Battalion Engineer Platoon, SNCOIC Faculty Advisor for 4th MLG Corporals Course (East), Quantico, VA, and Headquarters Company Gunnery Sergeant. In June 2005 Staff Sergeant Erwin graduated from Staff Academy Career Course, Quantico, Virginia.
In June 2008 Staff Sergeant Erwin was mobilized and deployed in support of Operation Iraq Freedom, as the Company Gunnery Sergeant for Communication Company, Combat Logistic Regiment (CLR) 17, 1st MLG. Staff Sergeant Erwin was also an Instructor for 1st MLG Forward, Corporal Course, Al Taqaddum, Iraq. Additional billets he was assigned included Hazardous Material SNCOIC, Safety SNCOIC, Fire Warden and assisted the MLG Engineer Officer on Route Recon Missions for future engineering projects. Following redeployment Staff Sergeant Erwin graduated from the Combat Engineer NCO Course, Courthouse Bay, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and then returned to Headquarters Company, 6th Communications Battalion as the Company Gunnery Sergeant and Acting First Sergeant. On 1 April 2010 he was promoted to the rank of Gunnery Sergeant.
In August of 2010 Gunnery Sergeant Erwin was one of two reservists for the first time to attend and graduate from Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF) Basic Operators Course in Indian Head, Maryland. In July 2011 Gunnery Sergeant Erwin graduated from the Staff Academy Advance Course, Quantico, Virginia. Due to Gunnery Sergeant Erwin’s experience with CBIRF and his civilian occupation as a Firefighter, he was recruited to assist with standing up a Reserve Individual Mobilization
Augmentee (IMA) detachment in direct support of CBIRF. In December of 2012 Gunnery Sergeant Erwin transferred to Second Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), CBIRF IMA Detachment, as the Operations and Training Chief. During his tenure with CBIRF Gunnery Sergeant Erwin participated in the following exercises Scarlet Response and Vibrant Response as the Rescue Specialist Officer (RSO). In April 2014 Gunnery Sergeant Erwin complete the MAGTF Watch Officer / Watch Chief Course and in March 2015 completed CBIRF Advance Operations Course.
On 1 May 2015 he was promoted to the rank of First Sergeant and was assigned as the Company First Sergeant for Military Police Company Charlie, 4th Law Enforcement Battalion, 4th Force Headquarters Group (FHG), Dayton, Ohio.
In July 2015 First Sergeant Erwin completed the First Sergeant Course, Staff Academy, Quantico, Virginia. In May 2017 deployed with Charlie Company to Jordan in support of Operation Eager Lion. In May 2018 First Sergeant Erwin was reassigned to, Transportation Service Company, Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 25, CLR 45, 4th MLG, for his 2nd assignment as a Company First Sergeant.
On Jun 14, 2020, he was promoted (Frocked) to the rank of Sergeant Major and assigned to his current billet as the Squadron Sergeant Major for Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 452, MAG 49, 4th MAW located at Stewart Air National Guard base in Newburgh, New York.
Sergeant Major Erwin is a Green belt in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, a Expert Rifle Qualification (fourth award), Expert Pistol Qualification (third award).
Sergeant Major Erwin’s personal decorations include Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (with Gold star for 2nd award), Selective Marine Corps Reserve Medal (8th award), Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, multiple Certificates of Commendation, Meritorious Masts, Letters of Appreciation and he earned Boy Scouts of America highest rank of Eagle Scout, which allowed him to enlist in the Marine Corps at the rank of Private First Class.