Sergeant Major Downing currently serves as the Command Senior Enlisted Leader, Recruiting Station Cleveland, Ohio, 4th Marine Corps District.
Sergeant Major Downing was born in Danvers, Massachusetts. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2005 and completed recruit training at MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina in September of that year. Promoted through prior college degree completion, Private First Class Downing attended Infantry Training Battalion at the School of Infantry-East where he earned the military occupational specialty of 0352 Anti-Tank Assault Guided Missile Marine.
Upon graduation, Private First Class Downing reported to Weapons Company, 2d Battalion, 3d Marines aboard Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Shortly after arriving, he was assigned the billet of team leader and promoted to Lance Corporal. Deploying in September of 2006 to the Haditha Triad, Iraq, Lance Corporal Downing served as a vehicle operator, gunner, and team leader during numerous mounted and dismounted patrols in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Upon returning to Hawaii in the spring of 2007, he was promoted to Corporal and assigned as a squad leader.
In February 2008, Corporal Downing was meritoriously promoted to Sergeant and deployed to Fallujah, Iraq where he served as a squad leader, patrol leader and convoy commander. Shortly after returning, Sergeant Downing was assigned to the Headquarters Platoon as the Assistant Operations Chief and Headquarters Platoon Sergeant. From April through October 2009, Sergeant Downing deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan to conduct company and battalion level missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Sergeant Downing attended Drill Instructor School Class 2-10 in January of 2010, and was subsequently meritoriously promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant. Between April of 2010 and April of 2013, Staff Sergeant Downing served as a Drill Instructor, Senior Drill Instructor and Battalion Operations Chief for 3d Recruit Training Battalion. In May of 2013, Staff Sergeant Downing reported to 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, where he served twice as a rifle platoon sergeant, combined anti-armor team platoon sergeant, and the Weapons Company Operations Chief. During his time with 1/6, Downing deployed with the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard the USS Gunston Hall and USS Bataan in 2014 and the USS Wasp in 2016 to support contingencies in U.S. 5th & 6th Fleet areas of operations.
Assigned to the Marine Corps Training Mission-United Arab Emirates from July of 2017 through August of 2018, Gunnery Sergeant Downing served alongside, mentored, and advised the 17th Reconnaissance Battalion of the Emirati Presidential Guard Forces. Upon returning from UAE, Gunnery Sergeant Downing was assigned as the Command Inspector General Chief for Marine Corps Installations East-Marine Corp Base Camp Lejeune, until his subsequent promotion to the rank of First Sergeant in January of 2019. As a First Sergeant, he has previously served as Company First Sergeant for Headquarters and Service Company and Company L, School of Infantry-East as well as Engineer Support Company, 2d Combat Engineer Battalion. First Sergeant Downing currently serves as the Company First Sergeant for Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Battalion, 2d Marines where he deployed to Okinawa, Japan from August 2022 through February 2023 in support of Unit Deployment Program-East.
Sergeant Major Downing’s personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with four gold stars in lieu of fifth award, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon with one gold star in lieu of second award.