US Army Recruiting Command - Portland Battalion
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News Release
Oregon Proud: Gerardo Mendez Martinez's Journey to Success in the U.S. Army (Photo) - 05/09/24

Get ready to be inspired by the remarkable journey of Sergeant (SGT) Gerardo Mendez Martinez, a 28-year-old Hispanic soldier who has defied the odds and proudly served his country with unwavering dedication since 2013. Born in Silverton, Oregon, and raised in Vancouver, Washington, SGT Gerardo's story is one of determination, resilience, and inspiration. As a first-generation American, SGT Gerardo's journey in the U.S. Army is a testament to his commitment to serving his country while empowering the Hispanic community. ​

SGT Gerado journey to success in the U.S. Army is a true example of the American Dream in action. As the great-grandson of a Mexican immigrant who bravely ventured to the US to help build Oregon's railroads, SGT Gerardo's roots were deeply planted in a rich cultural heritage. However, growing up, he faced a unique struggle navigating a country where fluency in both Spanish and English was a necessity. Despite these challenges, SGT Gerado never lost sight of his dream of a better life in the United States. After joining the Army, he found a way to provide permanent residence to his immediate family. ​SGT Gerardo said, "The Army has been a beacon of hope for my family, providing a sense of security and stability that we never thought possible. It's an honor to serve a country that has given me so much, and I'm forever grateful for the opportunities it has afforded us."

SGT Gerado's accomplishments in the Army extend beyond his military career. He has earned numerous awards and accolades for his outstanding service and has taken advantage of the Army's educational benefits to earn degrees and certifications in fields like cybersecurity. SGT Gerado also helped with managing inventory, maintenance, and distribution of equipment and supplies within the Army. As the first Sergeant in the Army to integrate a logistical process for the new Apache Aircraft, he established a system that would be utilized by the entire Army for integrating the latest aircraft from Boeing Company.

But his story isn't just about personal achievements. He is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion in the Army, especially for the Hispanic community. SGT Gerado is dedicated to raising awareness of opportunities and benefits available to Hispanic and Latino communities through programs like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Parole in Place. DACA, a program introduced in 2012, allows certain young undocumented immigrants who came to the US as minors to request temporary protection from deportation and obtain work permits. Parole in Place is a discretionary option that allows certain family members of US citizens and lawful permanent residents to adjust their immigration status while in the US. These programs provide a pathway to permanent residence and ultimately, US citizenship, enabling Hispanics and Latinos to serve in the military and build a better future for themselves and their families.

SGT Gerado's ambitious plans are already in motion. In the short term, he's focusing on completing his bachelor's degree and earning a promotion to Staff Sergeant. Looking ahead, he aspires to become a Warrant Officer, further hone his leadership skills, and play a key role in training the next generation of soldiers to build a stronger, more effective Army. Recently, he took on a temporary position as an Army recruiter in his hometown, a role that allows him to give back to his community and inspire others to pursue a career in the military. If you're interested in learning more about the opportunities and benefits the Army can offer, SGT Gerado invites you to reach out to him directly at 503-490-1467.

Attached Media Files: SGT_Gerardo_Bio_Pic.png
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