MSG Juan C. Bernal is a native of the Los Angeles area, and enlisted in the Army on September 24, 2002 as an infantry mortarman.
On his first assignment at Ft. Hood, TX, he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and served as an infantryman, machine gunner, and team leader in combat. From 2006 to 2009, he was assigned as a section leader and platoon sergeant at Ft. Irwin, CA. Next, the Army selected him for the infamous “trail” where he served as a Drill Sergeant at Ft. Jackson, SC specializing in training and acculturating new Soldiers. In 2011, he was reassigned to Ft. Lewis, WA to serve as a senior observer and trainer on deployment in Afghanistan. From 2013-2017, he served in two consecutive company First Sergeant positions, first at Ft. Wainwright, AK, then at Fort Bliss, TX where he deployed to Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Finally, in 2018, MSG Bernal was chosen amongst a competitive field to serve as the Senior Military Science Instructor for the USC Army ROTC. His mission here is to train, educate, and inspire cadets, and model what the time-honored, professional relationship between commissioned and non-commissioned officers should be.
His highest awards include the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC), Meritorious Service Medal (OLC), and Army Commendation Medal (3xOLC). He also earned the Combat Infantryman, Expert Infantryman, Airborne, Air Assault, Drill Sergeant, and Basic Army Instructor badges.
He and his wife, Juana, have three children 3 children together: Erick, Elena, and Evelyn.