Sergeant Major Nicholas J. Purtell was born in Lake Forest, Illinois and was raised in Scottsdale Arizona. He reported to MCRD San Diego, California in March of 2000 for training with Company K, 3d Recruit Training Battalion. Sergeant Major Purtell completed Marine Combat Training at Camp Pendleton, California. Upon completion he transferred to Marine Corps Motor Transport Operators Course, Marine Corps Detachment Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
In January 2001 Sergeant Major Purtell reported to 1st Battalion 11th Marines, Camp Pendleton, California as a Motor Transport Operator for duty with Battery B. August 2001, Sergeant Major Purtell deployed with the battalion landing team on the 15th MEU and later in support of Task Force 58 for combat operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Later in January of 2003, he deployed to Iraq in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. During his time at 1st Battalion 11th Marines, Sergeant Major Purtell served as a Motor Transport Operator, Licensing NCO, Line NCO, Assistant Motor Transport Chief, and Motor Transport Chief.
In March 2004 Sergeant Major Purtell reported to Drill Instructor School, MCRD San Diego, California. He served as a Drill Instructor with Company H, 2d Recruit Training Battalion and Instructor of Water Survival.
In February 2009 Sergeant Major Purtell reported to 3d Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division and served as the HQ Platoon Sergeant and Motor Transport Chief. Sergeant Major Purtell deployed to OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM in 2009 as a Platoon Sergeant. During his deployment to Afghanistan he served in direct support to 3d Battalion 11th Marines for combat operations outside the city of Marjah. In December 2010 Sergeant Major Purtell deployed again to Okinawa, Japan with the 31st MEU participating in Cobra Gold and Operation Tomodachi.
In April 2012 Sergeant Major Purtell reported to Basic Recruiters Course, MCRD San Diego, California. He served as a Canvassing Recruiter, Staff NCOIC, OSO Chief, and Assistant Recruiter Instructor with RS Phoenix. He later attended the Staff Noncommissioned Officer Advance Course and Career Recruiter Course.
In 2017, Sergeant Major Purtell was assigned to 1st Battalion, 1st Marines and later deployed to Okinawa, Japan for assignment with the 31st MEU.
In May 2018 Sergeant Major Purtell received orders to 3d Battalion, 1st Marines deploying with the 13th MEU. After a successful deployment in 2019, Sergeant Major Purtell received orders to 1st Law Enforcement Battalion and participated in Native Fury 20’ with Company B. During his time with 1st Law Enforcement Battalion he graduated the Navy Senior Enlisted Academy.
In 2020, Sergeant Major Purtell received orders to H&S Company, 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group. Sergeant Major Purtell currently serves as the Sergeant Major for Recruiting Station Los Angeles.
Sergeant Major Purtell’s decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with three gold stars, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with “V” and one gold star, and the Combat Action Ribbon with one gold star.