Upon graduation from Oliver Wendell Holmes High School in San Antonio Texas, Laura L. Salazar enlisted into the Marine Corps on July 9, 1984. Private Salazar left Parris Island, South Carolina to attend her Military Occupational Specialty School of Disbursing in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Upon completion of her MOS school, Pvt. Salazar’s first duty station was Cherry Point , North Carolina. Upon her promotion to meritorious Corporal, Cpl. Sheppard reenlisted for orders to Quantico Virginia.
Now Sgt. Sheppard reported to Parris Island, South Carolina to attend Drill Instructor School in January of 1992. While at Parris Island, Sgt. Sheppard graduated five platoons, became the first female History Instructor for both Female and Male recruits and was the 4th Battalion Drill Master. Sgt. Sheppard returned to her MOS of Disbursing during a tour to Iwakuni, Japan in 1994. While in Iwakuni, Sgt. Brown deployed in support of Operation Pitch Black, in Australia.
Staff Sgt. Brown then reported to El Toro, California in June 1995, as a Disburser where she stayed until the Base Realignment and Closure. (BRAC). SSgt Brown assisted in the opening of the Disbursing Office in Miramar, California in June 1997.
Upon promotion to gunnery sergeant, she was selected for the billet as the Squadron gunnery sergeant of Headquarters and Service Squadron in Miramar California from March 1999 to March 2001 . Gunnery Sgt. Brown returned to the Disbursing Office until her promotion to First Sergeant. 1st. Sgt. Brown reported to the Headquarters and Service Battalion aboard Camp Pendleton, California in May 2002. She deployed with Military Police Company in 2003 in support of Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom and again with Service Company in 2004 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II. While at Headquarters and Service Bn, 1st. Sgt. Brown was also the Director of the Battalion Level Corporal’s course.
Upon her return from deployment in 2005, 1st. Sgt. Brown reported to 1st Medical Battalion, CLR 15 as the Battalion sergeant major. In December of 2005, Sergeant Major Brown was frocked to the rank of Sergeant Major and reported to MCRD Parris Island South Carolina in May 2006 as the 4th Recruit Training Battalion Sergeant Major. While at Parris Island, Sergeant Major Brown also served as the Sergeant Major of Support Battalion from May 2008-April 2009.
Sgt. Maj. Brown arrived aboard MCAS Futenma Okinawa Japan in June 2009 and served as the Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 36 Sergeant Major until April 2010. Sergeant Major Brown became the Marine Aircraft Group 36 Sergeant Major April 2010 until her departure June 2011. While deployed as the 3rd MEB ACE Sergeant Major, Sergeant Major Brown participated in “PHIBLEX”, a Phillipine Bilateral Exercise 2011, which rapidly transitioned from bilateral training to force protection as Super Typhoon “Megi” approached turning the exercise into an HA/DR mission. Sgt. Maj. Brown has also participated in exercises Ryuku Warrior 2011 and Cobra Gold 2011.
In March 2011, Sgt. Maj. Brown deployed to mainland Japan following the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent Tsunami, in support of a humanitarian disaster relief effort, “ Operation Tomodachi”. Sergeant Major Brown reported to Marine Corps Base Quantico Virginia on Sept 2, 2011 and is currently serving as the Base Sergeant Major.
Her personal awards include a Meritorious Service Medal (3rd Award) , Navy Marine Corps Commendation medal with 3 gold stars in lieu of 4th Award, Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal with one Silver Star and two Bronze Star, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Ribbon, and a Drill Instructor Ribbon (2nd Award). Sergeant Major Brown is also the recipient of the 2011 Major Megan McClung Leadership Award.