Sgt. Maj. Johnny R. Vancil was born in Seoul, South Korea. In August 1993, he attended recruit training with Golf Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, graduating as an honor graduate. Vancil reported to Marine Combat Training at Camp Pendleton, Calif., then attended his military occupational specialty school in Court House Bay, N.C., to become a basic engineer equipment operator.
In May 1994, he reported to 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion in Okinawa, Japan, where he served as a heavy equipment operator and promoted to the rank of lance corporal.
In May 1995, Vancil reported to 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Force Service Support Group, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., where he deployed to Portugal and Haiti. He served as a heavy equipment operator, section leader and platoon sergeant, earning promotions to the ranks of corporal and sergeant.
In September 1999, he reported to Drill Instructor School on Parris Island, S.C. Upon graduation, Vancil was assigned to Charlie Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion. He served as a drill instructor until March 2001, when he reported to serve as a drill instructor in recruit receiving. In July 2001, he was meritoriously promoted to the rank of staff sergeant and returned to Charlie Company in August 2001, to serve as a senior drill instructor and series gunnery sergeant. In February 2003, Vancil was transferred to Headquarters Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, to serve as the battalion drillmaster.
In September 2003, Vancil was transferred to 2nd Transportation Support Battalion, 2nd FSSG, and served as a platoon sergeant and company gunnery sergeant. Here he deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In April 2004, he was promoted to the rank of gunnery sergeant. Upon completion of this deployment, Vancil reported to Combat Logistics Battalion 8, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, where he served as the battalion operations chief and deployed to Iraq again. In November 2005, Vancil reported to 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd MLG. He served as a platoon staff noncommissioned officer in charge, platoon commander and company gunnery sergeant. During this time he attended Engineer Equipment Chief’s Course and Advanced Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course, finishing both as a distinguished graduate.
Vancil was transferred to Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2nd MLG, in October 2006. Here he served as a detachment officer in charge and once again deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In October 2007, Vancil reported back to 8th Engineer Support Battalion. He served as an engineer equipment chief, company gunnery sergeant and company first sergeant.
In April 2008, Vancil was frocked to first sergeant and reported for duty on Parris Island. Here he served as a company first sergeant for Kilo Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, and Hotel Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion.
In June 2011, Vancil reported to 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, in Camp Lejeune, N.C. Here he served as a company first sergeant for A Company while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Upon return from deployment in August 2012, Vancil was transferred to Headquarters and Service Company to serve as the company first sergeant.
Vancil was frocked to his current rank of sergeant major in March 2013 and transferred to Parris Island to serve as the 2nd Recruit Training Battalion’s sergeant major.
Vancil’s personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, five Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and the Combat Action Ribbon.