Sergeant Major Garza enlisted in the United States Marine Corps from Houston, TX in 1992 and completed recruit training with India Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, CA in October 1993. After completing the School of Infantry aboard Camp Pendleton, CA, Private First Class Garza completed the Field Radio Operator Course at the Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School in Twentynine Palms, CA.
Lance Corporal Garza’s first duty assignment was with 3rd Intelligence Company, 3rd Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Intelligence Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force in Okinawa, Japan where he served as a Field Radio Operator, Remote Sensor Operator, and Team Leader. During this tour, he participated in a variety of theater exercises and deployed for counter-drug operations.
Transferred back to the United States in September 1996 to Camp Lejeune, NC, Corporal Garza was assigned to 2nd Intelligence Company, 2nd Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Intelligence Group and 2nd Radio Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force serving as a Field Radio Operator, Remote Sensor Operator, Team Leader, Squad Leader, and Communications Chief. He then later served with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. During this tour, he again participated in several deployments and counter-drug operations.
In July 1999, Sergeant Garza volunteered for Drill Instructor duty at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, SC. After completion of Drill Instructor School, he was assigned to 3rd Recruit Training Battalion where he served as a Drill Instructor, Senior Drill Instructor, Series Gunnery Sergeant, and Operations Chief for Lima Company, Recruits Awaiting Disposition Section SNCOIC for Headquarters Company, and as a Series Gunnery Sergeant for Kilo Company.
Following his tour at Parris Island in October 2002, Staff Sergeant Garza was transferred back to Camp Lejeune, NC and assigned to Charlie Company, 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division where he served as a Communications Chief and Platoon Sergeant. During this tour, he deployed in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM I with Regimental Combat Team-5, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM 2-2 and 04-06 with Regimental Combat Team-1, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. During Operation IRAQI FREEDOM 2-2, Charlie Company was heavily involved in Operation PHANTOM FURY (AL FAJR), the Battle of Fallujah.
In June 2005, Gunnery Sergeant Garza was selected for duty at the SNCO Academy, Camp Lejeune, NC where he served as a Faculty Advisor for the Career Course before being temporarily assigned to the Enlisted Professional Military Education Branch, Marine Corps University in Quantico, VA as a curriculum developer. Upon completion of that assignment, he returned to Camp Lejeune where he served as a Faculty Advisor and Chief Instructor of the Career Course and as the SNCOIC of the Sergeants Course.
First Sergeant Garza received orders in June 2008 to Combat Assault Battalion, 3rd Marine Division in Okinawa, Japan serving as the Company First Sergeant for Combat Engineer Company and as the acting Battalion Sergeant Major. In 2009, he deployed in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM with Embedded Training Team 2-8, Regional Corps Advisory Command-Central 3-7, 4th Marine Regiment serving as the Team First Sergeant and as an Advisor embedded with the 1st Kandak (Infantry), 2nd Brigade, 201st Corps of the Afghan National Army in eastern Kunar Province, Afghanistan. Upon return from Afghanistan, he then served as the Company First Sergeant for Truck Company, Headquarters Battalion, 3rd Marine Division.
Returning to the United States in May 2011, First Sergeant Garza was assigned to 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, Marine Special Operations Regiment, U. S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC), Camp Lejeune, NC where he served as a Company First Sergeant and then as the Battalion (Rear) Sergeant Major when the battalion headquarters staff deployed as Special Operations Task Force-West to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
In September 2013, Sergeant Major Garza reported to the School of Infantry-East, Camp Geiger, NC and served as the Sergeant Major, Headquarters and Support Battalion until his posting as the Sergeant Major, Advanced Infantry Training Battalion in December 2014.
Sergeant Major Garza assumed his current post as the Sergeant Major, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Marine Corps Installations Pacific in September 2015.
Sergeant Major Garza’s personal decorations include the Bronze Star with two Combat V’s and one gold star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal with two gold stars, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with one gold star, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with two gold stars, and the Combat Action Ribbon with one gold star.