Trinidadian Born and Former Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Appointed U.S. ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago

Feb 27, 2016
1 min read

Former Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps John Estrada is returning to Trinidad and Tobago, where he was born, as the U.S. ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago.

“I credit all my success to my time in the Marine Corps — any success, to include this appointment and confirmation to be ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago,” said Estrada, who served as the Marine Corps’ top enlisted leader from 2003 to 2007. “I’ve had some really great leaders and mentors in the Marine Corps.”

The Senate confirmed Estrada for the ambassadorship on Feb. 12. He plans to leave soon for Trinidad and Tobago, where his family lived until he was 14 years old. Growing up, Estrada would sell recycling so that he could watch U.S. war movies. One of his favorites was “Sands of Iwo Jima” with John Wayne.

“What always stood out in the American war movies I used to look at was the Marines,” Estrada said. “The Marines were just the best. They got the job done. I loved the discipline, that fighting spirit. That stuck in my head as I emigrated to the U.S.”

While in high school, Estrada had a job cleaning government buildings in Washington, D.C. For months, he would walk past the Marine Corps recruiting office, but he didn’t dare go inside.

“I wanted to be a Marine, but I was scared,” he said. “I didn’t know if I had what it took. The Marine recruiter had been watching me for many months. Then one day he stepped outside while I was standing outside looking in and he said, ‘Come on in young man.’ It took off from there.”

Story courtesy of Marine Corps Times. Read Full Story Here

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