Phone: (815) 407-5125

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Degrees and Certifications:

Marine Instructor Competition Color Guard Coach Competition Drill Team Coach Competition Physical Fitness Team Coach Community Service Coordinator Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security

SgtMaj Lester Abanto

Sergeant Major Lester B. Abanto was born in the Philippines and enlisted into the Marine Corps from Chicago, Illinois.  In May, 1994 he reported to the Marine Corps Recruit Deopot (MCRD) San Diego, California.  He graduated recruit training in July 1994 as a Private and reported to the School of Infantry at Camp Pendleton, California.  After completing Marine Combat Training, Private Abanto reported to Marine Corps Support Schools, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

At the conclusion of Unit Diary Clerk School, he earned the rank of Private First Class.  He was then assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 42, Detachment C, Belle Chase, Louisiana as a Unit Diary Clerk.  During his 26-month tour, he excelled as a Unit Diary Clerk and was promoted twice earning the rank of Lance Corporal and meritoriously promoted to the rank of Corporal.  In March 1997, Corporal Abanto reported for duty with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), Okinawa, Japan with the Command Element as a Unit Diary Clerk.  While with the 31st MEU Corporal Abanto deployed throughout Asia and participated in Excercise Cobra Gold.

During a successful tour with the 31st MEU, Corporal Abanto reported for duty with the 12th Marine Corps District in San Diego, California May 1998.  During a positive 36-month tour, he continued to progress as a Non-Commissioned Officer and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.  In June 2001, Sergeant Abanto received orders to report for duty with Inspector-Instructor Staff, Battery B, 1st Battalion, 14th Marines in Joliet, Illinois.  Sergeant Abanto was an integral part of a staff that earned accolades during several command inspections.  On this tour, he earned the rank of Staff Sergeant.

Staff Sergeant Abanto volunteered for Drill Instructor Duty and attented Drill Instructor School at MCRD, San Diego, California in July 2003.  Upon completion of Drill Instructor School, Staff Sergeant Abanto was assigned to 1st Battalion, Alpha Company.  During his time with Alpha Company, he completed nine cycles and held the billets of Drill Instructor, Senior Drill Instructor, and Series Chief Drill Instructor.  While on this tour he was promoted to the rank of Gunnery Sergeant.

In November 2006, after the completion of a rewarding tour as a Drill Instructor, Gunnery Sergeant Abanto requested orders to 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, Camp Pendleton, California.  Three months later, he was hand-selected to become the Administration Chief for Headquarters, 1st Marine Regiment.  He served four years with 1st Marines and during this time, Gunnery Sergeant Abanto deployed in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM with Regimental Combat Team 1 from January 2009.  In April 2010, he earned the rank of First Sergeant.

First Sergeant Abanto received orders to report for duty with Inspector-Instructor Staff, Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines (2/24) in Fort Sheridan, Illinois as the site First Sergeant in June 2010.  While on this tour, First Sergeant Abanto was the central focal point and bedrock that fostered a staff of ten active duty Marines to train more than 150 Marine Reservists for future combat operations.  Following a gratifying tour with Weapons Company 2/24, First Sergeant Abanto received orders to repor for duty with Commuincations Company, Combat Logistics Regiment-37, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, Okinawa Japan in June 2013.

After 14 months of meritorious service, First Sergeant Abanto received orders to Delta Company, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Camp Pendleton, California where he served for two months as the Company First Sergeant until he was selected to the rank of Sergeant Major.  He then transferred to assume the duties as the Battalion Sergeant Major for 1st Law Enforcement Battalion, Camp Pendleton, California and enjoyed tremendous success for the next two years.  Shortly thereafter he was appointed and assumed the duties of the Recruiting Station (RS), Sergeant Major, at RS Indianapolis in April 2017.  After more than 26 years of honorable and faithful service, he retired from active duty in July 2020.  He currently serves as a Marine Instructor for the Marine Corps JROTC program at Romeoville High School in Romeoville, Illinois.

Sergeant Major Abanto's personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal in lieu of the second award, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation in lieu of the third award, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal in lieu of the fourth award.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security.