Samuel Rosales, Major USMC, Retired
Major Samuel Rosales was raised in Hawthorne, CA.In High School he started hanging out with the wrong crowd and began getting in trouble and going in a bad direction with his life. In 1990, two weeks after graduating he enlisted in the US Marines because “it was the hardest”. He was the first in his family to enlist in the military and inspired his brother, his daughter and a chain of recruits to serve.
After training in San Diego and attending the School of Infantry Training, he went onto train as a Machine Gunner. He deployed to Operation Desert Shield/Storm as an Anti-tank Assault man. His first airplane ride was a flight to Saudi Arabia.
In April 1996 Sam was selected to the Broadened Opportunity for Officer Selection and Training in Newport, RI, and then to the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Program in 1997 where he attended the University of Oklahoma and received degrees in Criminology and Spanish.
Sam also served the 3/5 as the Sniper Platoon Commander and deployed to OIF II. Post-combat operations in 2004, he became the assistant OIC of back clearing operations in Fallujah, where he was wounded in house to house combat. A grenade exploded leaving his team wounded and unconscious. Sam suffered a shrapnel wound in the leg, a shoulder injury and a TBI.
Upon returning to the states Sam served at the Marine Corps Recruiting Depot, in San Diego, CAas a Series Commander, Company Commander and Aide de Camp to the Commanding General. His proudest moments were on the Drill Field witnessing the transformation of his recruits and at graduation seeing the pride from their families.
In 2008, Sam completed Assessment and Selection and was selected to join Marine Special Operations Command. He participated in deployments to the Philippines and to Afghanistan as part of Special Operations Task Force 81 serving as an Intelligence Officer and Liaison Officer. He returned to the United States in 2015 and became a Team Leader at Marine Forces Cyber Command in Fort Meade, Maryland.
After a long and distinguished 26 years in the Marine Corps Major Samuel Rosales retired in July 2016, just as his daughter Samantha Rosales was newly commissioned Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Personal decorations include the Purple Heart, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal fifth award with Combat “V”, Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal third award, Navy & Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia, and the Brazilian Naval War College badge.
Sam’s love of riding motorcycles started as a teenager, and he has been riding bikes ever since. Sam has two daughters and now lives in Georgia.
This is Sam’s first trip to Sturgis. He will pilot an Indian sidecar rig taking a fellow amputee veteran to Sturgis 2018. His main purpose for joining VCR is to help his brother and sister veterans, and to have a new mission to complete.