Gunnery Sergeant Zachary R. O’Connor was assigned as the the Assistant Marine Officer Instructor for the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps unit at Norwich University in March 2022. GySgt O’Connor is a Marine Aviation Ground Support Equipment Technician from Rochester, NY. He enlisted in the Marine Corps on 22 February 2007 and attended recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD), Parris Island Beaufort, South Carolina. After graduating recruit training, he attended Marine Combat Training (MCT) at Camp Geiger Jacksonville, North Carolina.
Following completion of MCT, he attended MOS “A” school at NAS Pensacola, Florida, to begin his education toward becoming an Aviation Ground Support Equipment (GSE) Mechanic. Upon completion of “A” school he attended “C” school at NAS Coronado, California, for GSE Electrician/Refrigeration Mechanic Course. Upon completion of his training he was assigned the MOS 6073 Aviation Ground Support Equipment Electrician/Refrigeration Mechanic.
In February of 2008, Private First Class O’Connor reported to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31 (MALS)-31, Marine Aircraft Group-31, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Beaufort. He served as an aviation ground support equipment electrician and was meritoriously promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal in March, 2008. In June, 2009 he deployed with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 533 (VMFA-533) to Iwakuni, Japan. In June 2010 he was promoted to the rank of Corporal.
In October of 2011, Corporal O’Connor received orders to MALS-26 Jacksonville, North Carolina. While there he served as the Work Center Supervisor (WCS) and Collateral Duty Inspector (CDI) for multiple work centers throughout the GSE division. In April 2013, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. In June 2013, Sergeant O’Connor deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with MALS-40 at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. While deployed, he served as the GSE Training and Licensing Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge, WCS and CDI. Upon returning to MALS 26, Sergeant O’Connor served as the 900 Division Quality Assurance Representative.
In October of 2016, Sergeant O’Connor received orders to Drill Instructor School class 1-17 aboard MCRD San Diego. In December 2016 Sergeant O’Connor graduated Drill Instructor School and then immediately attended the Marine Corps Instructor of Water Survival (MCIWS) School. Upon his completion of MCIWS School he checked in to Company B, First Recruit Training Battalion. Sergeant O’Connor was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant in October of 2018. During his time as a Drill Instructor, Staff Sergeant O’Connor served as a Drill Instructor, Experienced Drill Instructor, Senior Drill Instructor, and Chief Drill Instructor.
In January of 2020 Staff Sergeant O’Connor reported to MALS-31, MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina. There he served as the Support Equipment Planned Maintenance System (SEPMS) coordinator and Tool Room Staff Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge. In October of 2020 he was selected to serve as the MALS-31 Squadron Gunnery Sergeant. He was promoted to the rank of Gunnery Sergeant in February of 2022.
His personal decorations include the Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal (with one gold star in lieu of second award), Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal (with 2 gold stars in lieu of third award).