Summary: SgtMaj Thomas Eggerling enlisted in the Marine Corps on 19 November 1989, attended recruit training at MCRD San Diego, California. As a junior enlisted Marine and Non-Commissioned Officer, he served as an organizational vehicle mechanic, quality assurance inspector, vehicle recovery operator, and organizational color bearer with MWSS 371 aboard MCAS Yuma, Arizona, and then with 12th Marine Regiment in Okinawa, Japan. He then reported for duty as a Vehicle Recovery Operator and Training Chief for Combat Service Support Detachment-16 where he was selected to attend Recruiting School. While serving as a Canvassing Recruiter for Recruiting Station Omaha, Nebraska he was meritoriously promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant. SgtMaj Eggerling was assigned to 8th Motor Transport Battalion in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina as it was re-flagged to 2nd Transportation Support Battalion (TSB). While at 2nd TSB, SgtMaj Eggerling served as the Maintenance Chief for Companies A, B, and C.
In June of 1999, SgtMaj Eggerling transferred to 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment. During this tour he participated in the Unit Deployment Program and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) before being transferred to 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion to serve as the H&S Company Gunnery Sergeant. Upon his selection to First Sergeant in 2003, SgtMaj Eggerling transferred to Battery A, 1st Battalion, 14th Marines in Aurora, Colorado where he served as the Inspector-Instructor (I-I), First Sergeant, and Family Readiness Officer while Battery A deployed in support of OIF. In January 2007, SgtMaj Eggerling joined 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 1st Marine Regiment at Camp Pendleton, California where he served as the H&S Company First Sergeant. During this tour, SgtMaj Eggerling again deployed in support of OIF. Upon his selection to Sergeant Major, he was assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron-163 in January, 2008. During this tour also served as the Air Combat Element SgtMaj and an Aerial Observer on the CH-46E aircraft while deployed with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
In 2010, SgtMaj Eggerling reported for duty aboard Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, California for duty as the I-I Sergeant Major for 5th Battalion, 14th Marines. He transferred to Marine Air Control Group 18, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in April 2012 to serve as the Group Sergeant Major. He then assumed the duties of the Manpower Management Sergeant Major at Headquarters Marine Corps, Quantico, Virginia in March 2014 until he was assigned as the third Sergeant Major of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South in Doral, Florida. SgtMaj Eggerling currently serves as the Sergeant Major of Marine Corps Combat Development Command/Combat Development & Integration in Quantico, Virginia. His personal decorations include the Legion of Merit with gold star, the Meritorious Service Medal with two gold stars, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with two gold stars, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with three gold stars, and the Combat Action Ribbon. He is authorized to wear the Naval Aircrew Insignia for serving as an Aerial Observer and he is also a member of the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara.
Why would a prospective client want you to be their keynote speaker or to support their speaking event? What are some compelling aspects of your background/career/experience that we should know about?
Speaking from past experience, I am sought after for speaking engagements in large part because of my ability to connect with the audience. I have been told that I am received well because of a rare combination humility, sincerity, intelligence, and ability to connect with an audience in a meaningful way.
In terms of background experience, I am a 32 year Marine veteran often times I am asked to speak to groups of any particular rank from colonel down to corporal. I can speak to culture, leadership, management, and life skills. I have also given presentations on my combat experiences, mentorship, and even niche topics such as a recent engagement with the Association of Government Accountants as part of their leadership development series. My biography speaks to my experience. I would highlight that my last three assignments at the general officer level helped me to not only learn the goings on of large and dynamic organization, but also how executives think and make decisions. Finally, when I am at my best, it is when I am able to engage with audiences in a Socratic fashion. I enjoy the banter and helping to shape conversations for the audience to learn as we go.
What are your primary topics/areas of expertise? Some examples may include: Conflict resolution, International Relations, Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion, Cybersecurity, as well as specific countries or geographical regions.
My primary areas of expertise are:
in Central and South America, and the Marine Corps; like others, I have a extensive list of other topics I can speak to.
What are some positions you have held in your career that you would like prospective clients to know about?
The Sergeant Major of Marine Corps Combat Development Command/Combat Development & Integration. In this role, I was the senior enlisted leader for approximately 40,000 Marines and sailors. Our command was responsible for the Marine Corps’ Title 10 requirements to organize, train, educate, and equip a force of over 220,000 personnel. With ties to Congress, industry, and academia, I spent a good deal of this tour (2018-2021) learning how to build a ready and relevant force within budgetary constraints. During this time, I also spent much of my efforts on updating doctrine and codifying our enlisted education continuum.
What are some speaking events you’ve supported recently?
I have – here is a somewhat recent list of speaking engagements:
- 2021 – Senior Enlisted Professional Military Education @ College of Enlisted Military Education, Marine Corps University. (Six classes per year for five years).
- 2021 – Panelist for the Association of Government Accountants. I represented DoD as a panelist. The subject was leading in the “New Normal” and in the virtual environment. The clients were government accounts across the United States.
- 2021 – Marine Corps Birthday Ball cake cutting ceremony. I served as the Guest of Honor and speaker for Marine Corps Recruiting Command.
- 2020 – PME Graduations. Approximately 5 per year. These graduations are for courses ranging from E-9 to E-6 and attended by families, general officers, executives, and parent command leadership teams.
- 2019 – Lecturer for the Congressional Staffer’s Leadership Development Series.
- 2018 – Keynote Speaker for the University of Nebraska’s ROTC, Alumni, and Military Affiliate Senior’s Banquet.
- 2018 – Guest of Honor for the Marine Corps Birthday Ball at the U.S. Embassy in San Salvador, El Salvador. The client was the U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador and her Detachment of Marines.
- 2017 – Keynote Speaker and Senior Leader for the Caribbean Command Senior Leader’s Leadership Summit. The client was senior leaders from over 18 countries within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
Do you have any articles or publications? Have you been featured in any? If so, what were they?
I have several short commentary articles that have been in Proceedings Magazine.