News: Kansas City-native promoted to rank of master sergeant in U.S. Marine Corps
Story by Cpl. Mondo Lescaud
WASHINGTON - A native of Kansas City, Mo., was promoted to the rank of master sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, Aug. 1.
Master Sgt. Keith Martinez enlisted in the Corps as a private first class in May 2000 and attended recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, with the goal of serving in the U.S. Marine Drum & Bugle Corps. Martinez then underwent combat training at the School of Infantry West and later arrived at his current unit, Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., in September 2000, where he has served as a soprano bugler at the Corps’ oldest post.
After performing for more than nine years as a bugler, Martinez took on his current billet as the assistant drum major in April 2009.
“I believe that talent and hard work can get you where you want to be, and character and integrity will keep you there,” Martinez said. “If you don’t have character and integrity, all the work you put into your job will mean nothing.”
As the assistant drum major, Martinez leads the D&B in ceremonies at the “Oldest Post of the Corps,” and around the world. He’s also the company first sergeant, ensuring his Marines are properly trained and accounted for.
“[Martinez] is the most meticulous Marine I have ever met in my 25 years of service,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. Kevin D. Buckles, the D&B drum major. “His level of attention to detail when it comes to practicing, performing and leading Marines is exceptional. I have seen him arrive to the unit and take us to higher levels.”
Martinez’s personal awards include a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, a Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal.
“My goals are to continue to serve honorably in the Corps and as a husband and a father, and hopefully become the drum major for my unit,” said Martinez.
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 other events across the country and globe.