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Name: Estrada, John
Current Position: Ambassador

The former sergeant major of the Marine Corps is President Barack Obama’s choice to be the next ambassador to the Caribbean island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. Nominated July 30, John L. Estrada is a native Trinidadian who has been senior manager for Lockheed Martin Training Solutions since 2008. If confirmed by the Senate, he would succeed Beatrice Wilkinson Welters, who had served in Trinidad since 2010.


Born circa 1955 in Laventille, Trinidad and Tobago, John Estrada immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 14 and enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 18 in September 1973, staying 34 years and serving as sergeant major of the Marine Corps, the highest-ranking enlisted Marine, from 2003 to 2007. Prior to that, Estrada served as Sgt. Maj. at the recruiting station in Sacramento, California, from 1998 to 2000; as Sgt. Maj. of the Recruit Training Regiment at Parris Island, South Carolina, from 2000 to 2001; and as Sgt. Maj. of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at Miramar, Florida, from 2001 to 2003.


After leaving the Marine Corps in 2007, Estrada worked as a business development specialist for engineering firm Coalescent Technology Corporation from 2007 to 2008.


Estrada earned a B.S. in Business from the online University of Phoenix in 2010.


In 2010, Estrada was appointed as a member of the American Battle Monuments Commission. He has also served on the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services, the national Board of Directors for Operation Homefront, and the executive committee for the United Services Organization


In 2008, after his retirement from the Marine Corps, Estrada publicly endorsed the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama, eventually giving a televised speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, citing his “obligation... to protect the Marines, sailors and their families.”

-Matt Bewig


To Learn More:

Laventille-Born John Estrada Nominated US Ambassador to T&T (by Richard Charan, Trinidad Express)

Marine Corps Biography

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