Sergeant Major Gillespie was born in Walla Walla, Washington in 1975. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in March 1994 and conducted Recruit Training at MCRD San Diego. Upon completion, he reported to Marine Corps Engineer School for the Basic Combat Engineer Course where he earned the MOS 1371. In the fall of 1994 he reported to Charlie Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion where he served as a Combat Engineer, Fire Team Leader, and Squad Leader. During his tour, he deployed three times in a Joint Task Force capacity to Trinidad and Tobago, Panama and Haiti for Operation FAIRWINDS.
In May 1998, Sergeant Gillespie received orders to Marine Corps Base Okinawa and reported for duty as the Central Training Area and Base Ranges Maintenance Chief on Camp Hansen. In January 2001 Sergeant Gillespie was promoted to Staff Sergeant and received orders to the 3d Marine Division’s Combat Assault Battalion – where due to his unique skill set, he was assigned as the Battalion Gunner. During this tour, he deployed to Korea, Thailand, Brunei, and Singapore in support of several large-scale exercises.
Staff Sergeant Gillespie reported to Courthouse Bay, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina in the summer of 2004 to serve as a Formal School Instructor in Combat Engineer Instruction Company, Marine Corps Engineer School. In November of 2004 he was promoted to the rank of Gunnery Sergeant and served as an instructor in the General Engineering Department until he was transferred to the Combat Engineer Department to serve as the Staff Noncommissioned Officer in Charge of the Demolitions and Urban Breaching Section.
In May 2007 Gunnery Sergeant Gillespie was transferred to Engineer Company, Marine Wing Support Squadron 272, New River Air Station to serve as the Engineer Chief. During his tour he deployed to Iraq in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, and was subsequently assigned as the Company Senior Enlisted Leader.
In December 2009, he was selected for the rank of First Sergeant and received orders to Military Police Support Company, II MEF Headquarters Group Camp Lejeune. Following his tour of duty in Military Police Support Company First Sergeant Gillespie was given orders to the Marine Corps Detachment, Fort Leonard Wood Missouri to serve as the Company First Sergeant for Engineer Equipment Instruction Company.
In the summer of 2013, First Sergeant Gillespie was selected to attend the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy and reported to Fort Bliss as a student until the summer of 2014. While assigned to the Sergeants Major Academy, First Sergeant Gillespie was selected to be the Class Vice President of the 600-member class. Following this assignment First Sergeant Gillespie was assigned to Combat Logistics Regiment 2 to serve as the General Support Motor Transportation Company First Sergeant.
In November 2014, Sergeant Major Gillespie was selected to his current grade and assigned as the Battalion Sergeant Major for 2d Transportation Support Battalion. In August of 2016 he was reassigned as the Squadron Sergeant Major of Marine Wing Support Squadron 272.
In August 2018, Sergeant Major Gillespie was assigned to Marine Corps Detachment, Fort Leonard Wood Missouri.
Sergeant Major Gillespie’s personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (third award), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (fourth award), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (second award). Sergeant Major Gillespie is married to Mrs. Angela Gillespie, and they have two sons -- Private First Class Brandon Gillespie (U.S. Army) and Mr. Jacob Gillespie.