Sergeant Major Thomas W. Foster entered the United States Marine Corps in 1990 and graduated from recruit training at MCRD San Diego. He attended MOS School at Camp Del Mar, California for training as a Legal Service Specialist/4421, and was meritoriously promoted to Lance Corporal. In October 1990, Lance Corporal Foster was assigned to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC. and assigned duties as Legal Assistant Chief where he was meritoriously promoted to Corporal. During this period he attended NCO Leadership School and was awarded the Distinguished Leadership Award. In August 1992 Corporal Foster was sent to Airborne school where he earned the additional Airborne MOS. In November 1992, he was meritoriously promoted to Sergeant.
In 1993, Sergeant Foster was transferred to 3rd Marine Division in Okinawa, Japan to serve as the Legal Chief for III MEF, and 3rd Marine Division, a senior SNCO billet. In June 1993 he attended Sergeants Course and graduated as both Honor graduate and Gung-ho graduate and was presented the Directors NCO sword. In January 1994, Sergeant Foster was transferred to Parris Island, South Carolina to assume duties as Military Justice Chief for the Eastern Recruiting Region. In 1996, he was promoted to Staff Sergeant and attended SNCO Career Course where he graduated as a distinguished graduate.
In 1997, Staff Sergeant Foster was assigned to the 8th Marine Corps District and was a successful recruiter and SNCIOC in South Dakota. In January 2000, Staff Sergeant Foster was transferred to MCAS, Yuma, Arizona to serve as Legal Chief. In March 2000 he completed the Legal Officer’s Course at Newport, RI. In July 2001 he was promoted to Gunnery Sergeant.
In January 2004, Gunnery Sergeant Foster was assignment to the Coalition Military Assistance Training Team (CMATT) and deployed to Iraq where he was selected as SNCOIC to shape the training unit for the newly formed Iraqi Commando unit in Taji, Iraq, focusing on Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) including weapons handling, breaching techniques, room clearing and Close Quarter Combat (CQC).
December 2005, he was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, at Camp Pendleton, CA, and assumed duties as Echo Company 2/4, First Sergeant and began work ups for combat deployment with the 15th MEU. In November 2006 E Co 2/4 was sent into Ar-Ramadi, Iraq for seven month extended combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After returning from deployment, 2/4 redeployed in January 2008 with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit to Okinawa, Japan conducting bi-lateral training with units operating in the Philippines, Thailand, and Okinawa, Japan.
In January 2009, First Sergeant Foster was assigned to Weapons Field Training Battalion, MCRD, Parris Island. In February 2010 he attended the Naval War College Senior Enlisted Academy Class #151 in Newport, Rhode Island, and was a distinguished graduate. March 2011 he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant Major and assigned to Marine Wing Communication Squadron – 28, aboard MCAS Cherry Point, NC.
In June 2013, Sergeant Major Foster was selected as the Marine Air Control Group – 28 (Fwd) SgtMaj to deploy to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In December 2013 he was assigned as the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing (Fwd) SgtMaj and served as the Air Combat Element Sergeant Major and Senior Enlisted Advisor within 2dMAW (Fwd) . Upon return to CONUS, Sergeant Major Foster was assigned to Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron – 2, (MWHS-2) aboard MCAS Cherry Point, NC until the summer of 2015 when SgtMaj Foster was assigned to Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1).
Sergeant Major Foster’s awards include Meritorious Service Medals, Joint Services Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medals, Navy Achievement Medals, Army Commendation Medal, and Combat Action Ribbon.