Sergeant Major Richard A. Canal is a native of Florida, and enlisted in the Marine Corps on 12 June 1996. Upon completion of Recruit Training at MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina, and Marine Combat training, Camp Geiger, North Carolina, Private First-Class Canal attended Logistics Maintenance Management Specialist Course in Little Creek, Virginia. Upon completion, Private First Class Canal was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 10th Marines.
He has served in a wide array of duties in his MOS’s to include Maintenance Management NCO and Battalion Chief at 3rd Bn, 10th Marines. While deployed with the 26th MEU, he was a Battery Squad leader for Peace Keeping and Humanitarian operations in Kosovo and Turkey. He was also the Battalion Color Sergeant.
He received orders to Drill Instructor duty in 2001 and assigned to Delta Co, 1st RTBN. Upon successful SDA tour he was assigned to 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, Camp Pendleton California in 2005 and served as Vehicle Commander, Convoy Commander, Battalion Maintenance Management Chief, H&S Company Gunnery Sergeant and Battalion Logistics Chief and deployed to Fallujah, Iraq in support of OIF.
In 2007 he received orders to AMOI duty at Iowa State University NROTC where he also trained 3 summer platoons as a Sergeant Instructor at Officer Candidates School. He mentored, trained, and commissioned 15 Marine Officers and numerous Navy Officer from ISU NROTC during this tour.
In 2011 he received orders to 2d Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion as an 8999, Company 1stSgt and deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support OEF. He also earned the 0571 MOS as a Foreign Military Advisor during his tour.
In 2013 he reported to School of Infantry as a Company 1stSgt with Golf Co. He conducted 22 cycles as a company 1stSgt.
In 2015 he reported to Inspector Instructor Staff Salt Lake City, Utah for duty with Fox Co 2d Bn, 23rd Marines.
His assignments as a Sergeant Major include Recruiting Station Harrisburg, Pennsylvania from Jan of 2017 to March of 2020. His recruiting station earned the Marine Corps Recruiting Command Superior Achiever award in 2019.
He currently serves as the Squadron Sergeant Major for Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 366.
Sergeant Major Canal’ s personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with 2 gold stars, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with 3 gold stars, and the Combat Action Ribbon with 1 gold star. Sergeant Major Canal also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Iowa State University.