Sergeant Major, VMM-165
Sergeant Major William J. Clarke

Sergeant Major Clarke was born on 25 September 1979 in Miami, FL.  He enlisted in the Marine Corps on 27 January 2004 and attended Recruit Training at MCRD Parris Island, S.C.  He was a Mike Company Honor Graduate and meritoriously promoted to Lance Corporal. He completed Basic Supply Administration at Course at Camp Johnson, NC, receiving the military occupational specialty of 3043.

After completion of MOS school, Sergeant Major Clarke reported to Marine Wing Support Squadron 172 in Okinawa, Japan.  He was meritoriously promoted to Corporal in April 2005.  In December 2004, he conducted humanitarian operations for Joint Task Force 535, Philippines.  In January 2006, Sergeant Major Clarke was promoted to Sergeant.  He was selected to the Marine Corps Shooting Team, Weapons Field Training Battalion, Quantico, VA.  Later that summer, he was a member of the National Champion Marine Corps Pistol Team.  In August 2006, he received orders to 1st Maintenance Battalion, Camp Pendleton, CA.  

In January 2008, Sergeant Major Clarke reported to Drill Instructor School, MCRD San Diego, CA.  He served as a Drill Instructor for Bravo Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion.  He was the MCRD San Diego Drill Instructor of the Quarter 3rd Quarter FY-10 and graduated four Honor Platoons.  Sergeant Major Clarke was meritoriously promoted to Staff Sergeant in July 2009.  In February 2010, Sergeant Major Clarke reported to Edson Range, Camp Pendleton, CA.  He served as the Alpha Range Line SNCOIC and a shooter for the MCRD Shooting Team at the National Championship in Camp Perry, Ohio.

In February 2011, Sergeant Major Clarke reported to Headquarters Battery, 11th Marine Regiment.  He was temporarily assigned to 2d Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment for deployment to Helmand Province, Afghanistan.  During Operation Enduring Freedom 11.2 in December 2011, he served as the Battery Operations Chief and Battery Gunnery Sergeant for the Area of Operations Belleau Wood provisional infantry mission.  He was promoted to Gunnery Sergeant through accelerated promotion in June 2012 and served as the Headquarters Battery, 11th Marine Regiment Battery Master Sergeant.

In November 2012, Sergeant Major Clarke received orders to Navy Officer Candidate School, Officer Training Command, Newport, R.I.  He served as a Drill Instructor and Drill Master.  He was selected to First Sergeant in 2015.

In April 2016, Sergeant Major Clarke reported to 5th Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment.  He initially began his tour with Battery Q and served as the Battery Q, 3d Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment First Sergeant during the Forward Deployed Force program in 2017.  He completed the last year of his tour as the Headquarters Battery First Sergeant.

In May 2019, Sergeant Major Clarke reported to 1st Marine Logistics Group.  He served as the First Sergeant for Headquarters Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 17 and Director for the 1st Marine Logistics Group Schools.  In August 2020, Sergeant Major Clarke reported to Combat Logistics Battalion 1 to serve as the Senior Enlisted Advisor, Logistics Combat Element, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force - Crisis Response - Central Command.  He led 191 service members in Operation Allies Refuge, evacuating more than 120,000 Americans out of Afghanistan.  In November 2021, he checked-in to 1st Landing Support Battalion and served as the Headquarters Company First Sergeant.
In October 2022, he was selected to Sergeant Major.  He was given orders to VMM-165, MAG-16, 3d MAW and reported for duty as the Squadron Sergeant Major on 8 November 2022.  He is currently preparing to serve with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit as the Aviation Combat Element Senior Enlisted Advisor.

Sergeant Major Clarke has earned the distinction of Honor Graduate at six formal schools.  He earned a Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland University College, graduating Summa Cum Laude.  In May 2019, he graduated the USMC Command and Staff College Distance Education Program as a Distinguished Graduate.  He graduated with a Master's Degree in Education; with a concentration in Adult Education from Auburn University Graduate School in December 2022 (4.0).

Sergeant Major Clarke's personal decorations include the Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3 gold stars in lieu of fourth award), the Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal (1 gold star in lieu of second award), Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal (1 silver star in lieu of sixth award), the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal (1 gold star in lieu of second award), and the Drill Instructor Ribbon (1 bronze star in lieu of second award).