Home News Sgt Major Marine vet arrested with hate crime in Iraqi restaurant

Sgt Major Marine vet arrested with hate crime in Iraqi restaurant


Sergeant Major Damien T. Rodriguez

PORTLAND, Ore. – A Marine veteran has been charged with a racially motivated attack after assaulting a server in an Iraqi restaurant.

Marine veteran Sergeant Major Damien T. Rodriguez was originally charged with a harassment and second-degree disorderly conduct and intimidation, a hate crime in Oregon — but has since had the intimidation charges (the hate crime) dropped.

According to KGW, the owners of DarSalam restaurant reported that the diners came in on Friday, acting bizarre. The owners said that the patrons used racial slurs and didn’t order any food for almost an hour. Then suddenly one of the men grabbed a chair and assaulted the server.

Damien Rodriguez was arrested — he told Police he suffered from PTSD and took Ritalin and Propranolol for his condition. Rodriguez had previously deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rodriguez’ bio as listed on the 1st Marine Division website.

Sergeant Major Rodriguez enlisted in the Marine Corps on 26 September 1995, and underwent recruit training with 2nd Battalion, Echo Company, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California. Upon completion of recruit training, Private First Class Rodriguez attended the School of Infantry, where he attained the Military Operational Specialty of 0311, Rifleman.

In April of 1996, Private First Class Rodriguez executed orders to Enlisted Instructor Company, The Basic School Quantico, Virginia. During this assignment, Private First Class Rodriguez served in a variety of billets to include, Navigation Man, Automatic Rifleman, and Team Leader. He was also selected as the Basic School’s Marine of the quarter twice.

In September of 1997, Lance Corporal Rodriguez executed orders to Company C, 1st Battalion 7th Marine Regiment, 29 Palms California, and was promoted to the rank of Corporal. In February of 1998 he deployed as part of the Unit Deployment Program to Okinawa Japan and Fuji Japan while serving as a squad leader and promoted to the rank of Sergeant. In 2000 he deployed once again to Okinawa Japan, and Thailand as part of Operation Cobra Gold, where he served as squad leader and Navigation man for a four-day long range patrol through Bhan Chan Krem, on the Cambodian border. On his return to CONUS, Sergeant Rodriguez took over the Weapon’s Platoon as Platoon Sergeant.

In September of 2000, Sergeant Rodriguez executed orders to Drill Instructor school. During his tour of duty as a Drill Instructor, he served as a Drill Instructor and Senior Drill Instructor with 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, Hotel Company, and was promoted to Staff Sergeant in 2002.

In 2003 orders he received Temporary Assigned duty orders to the United States Army Airborne School in Fort Benning Georgia where he completed the Basic Army Airborne Course.

In January of 2004, he received orders to 2nd Battalion 4th Marines, and immediately deployed with Golf Company to Ar Ramadi Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During the seventh month deployment his Battalion was engaged in heavy urban combat.

In 2005 he deployed as part of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) while serving as Platoon Sergeant and took part in Balakatan in the Philippines. Upon his return to Okinawa, he served as Chief Instructor for the Corporals Leadership Course.

In 2006 he deployed as part of the 15th MEU aboard the USS Boxer while serving as Mobile Assault Platoon (MAP) Sergeant, Weapons Company. During this deployment Staff Sergeant Rodriguez went to many countries and then back into Iraq for the “surge,” into Al Anbar Province. Prior to returning back to CONUS he was promoted to Gunnery Sergeant.

In 2008 he received orders to Special Operations Training Group (SOTG) where he served as the Staff Non-Commissioned Officer in charge of the Raids and Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel (TRAP) section. In April of 2010 he was promoted to the rank of First Sergeant and received orders to 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion in 29 Palms California.

In November of 2010 First Sergeant Rodriguez deployed as Company First Sergeant for Company A (Apache Company), to Helmand Province Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

In 2012 Frist Sergeant Rodriguez deployed as H&S Company First Sergeant back to Helmand Province in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

First Sergeant Rodriguez received orders in October of 2012 to the School of Infantry (west), where he served as the Company First Sergeant of Company C, Infantry Training Battalion and the School First Sergeant of Combat Instructor School.

In November 2015 he was promoted to Sergeant Major and received orders to 1st Battalion 11the Marines where he served as the Battalion Sergeant Major.

His personal awards include: the Bronze Star Medal with combat ‘V’ for valor, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with one gold stars in lieu of second award.

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    YES I A U S MARINE. 85-90

    • I agree, that is the highest rank for a non- commission officer and he is expected to conduct himself in a dignified manor…No Excuses. Military brat of a first sergeant. As his children we were expected to behave in a polite manor.

  2. T Fred, you were a peace time Marine. Can your happy horseshit and let the man deal with his issues. You have frikken clue what skeletons he has in his closet. Like every other Marine on this planet. he knows what he did and did not do, and like many others, I am sure there’s more to this story than we are privy to. If he truly did screw the pooch, he’ll pay the piper. If this superfluous caca is babay shit news, then you owe the man an apology for 1, being an asshat in public and for 2, being an asshat in public and blowing smoke out your rectal intake manifold, and three, besmirching another Marine because youre a truly stupid son of a bitch. signed, GySgt, U.S.M.C. (ret).

  3. SgtMaj Rod is one of the finest Marines I have ever had the pleasure serving with. This is not representative of who he is as a man nor who he is as a Marine. Bastards for life

  4. He sounds like a good dude. As already mentioned, I’m sure there’s more to the story. S/F, Sgt. Major! Thank you for your service. 2/2 Easy Company Helmand Province ’09


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