Master Gunnery Sgt. Cole A. Smigelski

Master Gunnery Sgt. Cole A. Smigelski, a native of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps delayed entry program in June 1999. Smigelski reported to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California, in June 2000. After graduating recruit training in September 2002 as a meritorious private first class, he then reported to Marine Combat Training in October 2000 and graduated as the company honor man.
He received a meritorious promotion to lance corporal in October 2000. Smigelski reported to Naval Aviation Technical Training Center in Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Florida, as a basic aircraft airframe mechanic. Upon graduating “A” school, he reported to Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, North Carolina, to complete CH-53E Airframes “C” school.  He graduated in February 2003 and reported to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 769 as an airframe mechanic on CH-53E Super Stallions.
In April 2002, Smigelski was promoted to the rank of corporal, and shortly became qualified as a collateral duty quality assurance representative. He performed duties as a work center supervisor and airframes division non-commissioned officer in charge. In April 2003, he won the Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 29 meritorious sergeant board.
In May 2003, he was meritoriously promoted to the rank of sergeant and was assigned as the airframes division chief due to manpower shortages. In March 2004, he deployed to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. During the combat deployment, he became qualified as an CH-53E aerial observer, earning his aerial observer wings and combat aircrew wings.
In May 2005, Smigelski was transferred to the Marine Corps Individual Ready Reserve. He began drilling with 4th Marine Logistics Group LG Bulk Fuel Company B. In July 2006, he was promoted to staff sergeant. In August 2007, he reenlisted on active duty and was stationed at MCAS Miramar, California, with HMH-466.
In September 2008, Smigelski deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, performing duties as an aerial observer and airframes division chief.  In January 2010, he deployed to Bastion, Afghanistan, performing the duties of maintenance control senior non-commissioned officer in charge and aerial observer. In January 2012, he deployed to Bastion, Afghanistan, and performed the duties of maintenance control chief.
In February 2013, Smigelski reported to NAS Pensacola as an airframes “A” school instructor. In July 2013, he was promoted to gunnery sergeant. He performed duties as the aviation machinist course division chief, command substance abuse control officer, squadron gunnery sergeant, and fully-qualified instructor.
In March 2016, he reported to HMH-465 in MCAS Miramar as the maintenance control chief, deploying on the unit deployment program in November 2016. He was selected to the grade of master sergeant in January 2018.  In May 2018, he reported to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron (MALS) 39 to perform duties as quality assurance chief for MAG 39. In March 2020, Smigelski reported to HMH-361 to perform duties as the squadron maintenance chief.  He deployed with HMH-361 to Okinawa, Japan, in June 2020.
Smigelski was promoted to master gunnery sergeant and assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 232 in San Diego, California, as the maintenance chief in April 2022.
In August 2023, Smigelski reported as senior enlisted Marine advisor for the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training, NAS Pensacola, Florida.
His personal awards include Air Medal Strike/Flight (four awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medal (five awards), and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (four awards).

Last Updated: 20 September 2023

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