News: Phelps native promoted to staff sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps
Story by Pfc. Daniel Hosack
WASHINGTON - A native of Phelps, N.Y., was promoted to the rank of staff sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, April 2.
Staff Sgt. Dominick M. Valerio, 25, enlisted in the Corps in June 2006, and attended recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C.
After boot camp, he spent three months training to be an infantry Marine and another month and a half at basic security guard school. Valerio was assigned to the Third Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team Company in February 2007 whom he deployed with to the Philippines.
In March 2009, he was assigned to Kilo Company, Third Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment, within the 1st Marine Division, and was deployed twice to Afghanistan with the unit, where he earned a Bronze Star with V device for valor, in recognition of his actions in combat. After a successful tour with 3/7, he was selected in August 2012 to serve at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C. as a Guard Company platoon sergeant.
The rank of staff sergeant is the first staff noncommissioned officer rank in the Corps, and is an important position of leadership.
“The Marines that I molded myself after, led by example,” said Valerio. “They were the first to kick in a door or get in a gun fight. They never sat back and told others what to do.”
Valerio said the biggest benefit of his promotion is that he will be able to more effectively lead, teach, train and mentor his Marines.
“Promotions aren’t for the Marines. Marines get promoted for those under them,” said Valerio.
Valerio said he plans on staying in the Corps and remaining in the infantry. His awards include a Bronze Star, a Combat Action Ribbon, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and two Good Conduct Medals.
Barracks Marines support ceremonial and security missions in the nation’s Capital. Each year, the Marines support more than 30 parades and hundreds of ceremonies and functions to include funerals and sporting events across the country and globe while maintaining proficiency in their respective military occupations and meeting their annual Marine Corps training requirements.