Sgt. Maj. Derrick N. Mays enlisted in the Marine Corps October 1990 and graduated from MCRD Parris Island South Carolina. He graduated Marine Combat Training in February of 1991. Sgt. Maj. Mays received orders to Headquarters Battalion Communications Company, Second Marine Division as a field wireman. In February 1992 Sgt. Maj. Mays reported to Headquarters and Service Company, Second Battalion, Second Marines.
Sgt. Maj. Mays deployed with 22 MEU in support of Operation Provide Promise in September 1992. Sgt. Maj. Mays was promoted to the rank of Corporal in July 1993. In December 1993 Sgt. Maj. Mays deployed with 2dBn 2d Mar to Okinawa Japan. Sgt. Maj. Mays was promoted to Sergeant in January 1995 and in February he deployed to Norway for a cold weather exercise; upon his return SgtMaj Mays received orders to Communications Electronic School, 29 Palms Ca. He served as an instructor for Field Wire courses from May 1995 to March 1998.
In March 1998 Sgt. Maj. Mays reported to Drill Instructor School Class 3-98, Parris Island SC. He graduated from DI School in June 1998 and reported to First Battalion Charlie Company. He served as a Drill Instructor and Senior Drill Instructor. In February 1999 SgtMaj Mays was promoted to Staff Sergeant; he was selected as Senior Drill Instructor of the Quarter and later served as Recruit Training Regiment Visits SNCOIC.
In May 2001 Sgt. Maj. Mays received orders to G-6 Marine Corps Base Okinawa, Japan as the Construction Chief for Outside Plant North. SgtMaj Mays was promoted to the rank of Gunnery Sergeant in October 2003; he served as Headquarters and Service Battalion, Company Gunnery Sergeant and also Director of the Cpl’s Course during his tenure there.
In May 2004 SgtMaj Mays reported to Savannah Ga. He served as the Assistant Marine Officer Instructor for Savannah State University and Armstrong Atlantic State University. As AMOI his duties were Platoon Sergeant for Mountain Warfare Training, Bridgeport CA, and Sergeant Instructor at Officer Candidate School Quantico.
In July 2007 SgtMaj Mays was assigned to Second Battalion Eighth Marines. SgtMaj Mays deployed with 2d Bn 8th Mar to OIF Al Anbar Province, Ramadi, Iraq in November 2007. In February 2008 SgtMaj Mays was frocked to First Sergeant and assumed the duties as Fox Company First Sergeant. In May 2009 SgtMaj Mays redeployed with Fox Co. 2d Bn 8th Mar to OEF Southern Afghanistan's Helmand Province; he participated in Operation Khanjar and returned to conus November 2009.
Sgt. Maj. Mays was reassigned to Beach and Terminal Operations Company Bravo, Fourth Landing Support Battalion, Fourth Marine Logistic Group, Hunter Army Air Field GA. as the Inspector Instructor First Sergeant. Sgt. Maj. Mays was frocked to Sergeant Major in February 2013 and served as the Squadron SgtMaj for VMFA (AW) - 533 MAG 31 2d MAW from February 2013 to July 2015. SgtMaj Mays was reassigned to MCRDPISC as 2d RTBN SgtMaj from July 2015 to Dec 2016. SgtMaj Mays assumed duties as the sergeant major for Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort December 2016.
Sgt. Maj. Mays is a graduate of Webster University. He holds a M.A. in Human Resource Management, a B.A. and A.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Columbia College. He is also a graduate of Command and Staff DEP, Amphibious Warfare DEP, Sergeants Major Course, Senior Enlisted Resident Course, Senior Enlisted Leadership Legal Course, Senior Enlisted EO Workshop, and Senior Enlisted Joint PME.
Sgt. Maj. Mays’ personal awards include: Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal two gold stars in lieu of 3rd award, Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal gold star in lieu of 2d award, Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal gold star in lieu of 2d award, Combat Action Ribbon and Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.