Sergeant Major Cece enlisted in the Marine Corps on 4 August 1986 and attended recruit training at MCRD San Diego, California. He graduated as Series Honor Man and was meritoriously promoted to Private First Class. SgtMaj Cece then attended Basic Combat Engineer School at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Upon completion, he was assigned to 3d Combat Engineer Battalion, 3d Marine Division, Okinawa, Japan for duty as a Combat Engineer.
In March 1988, SgtMaj Cece reported to 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st FSSG, Camp Pendleton, CA, where he was meritoriously promoted to the rank of Corporal. In August 1990, SgtMaj Cece deployed to Saudi Arabia to participate in OPERATION DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM, where he served as team leader for Bravo Company. In January 1992, he transferred to 3d Combat Engineer Battalion, Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. In June of that same year, he attended the NCO Leadership Course and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
In December 1992, SgtMaj Cece deployed to Somalia as an Engineer Platoon Sergeant in support of OPERATION RESTORE HOPE. In April 1994, he attended Drill Instructor school at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. While assigned to 1st Battalion, he served as an Assistant and Senior Drill Instructor. In August 1996, he returned to Bravo Company, 7th ESB, and served as Platoon Sergeant and Company Gunnery Sergeant, and in January 1997, he was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant.
In June of 1999, SgtMaj Cece was assigned to the SNCO Academy Okinawa, Japan for duty as an Instructor/Faculty Advisor for the Sergeant’s Course, Career Course, and Advanced Course. While at the Career Course, he was promoted to the rank of Gunnery Sergeant and served as the Chief Instructor. In April 2002 he transferred to 9th ESB, 3d FSSG and served as Company Gunnery Sergeant for Alpha Company, Bulk Fuel Company, and H&S Company. While there, he was selected for promotion to the rank of First Sergeant, and in May 2004, he assumed the duties as the First Sergeant, General Support Maintenance Company, 3d Materiel Readiness Battalion, 3d FSSG.
In June 2005, SgtMaj Cece transferred back to Camp Pendleton to serve as First Sergeant, Company G, 2d Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. While with 2/5, he deployed to the Far East with the 31st MEU (SOC), then the following year, deployed to Iraq in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM 06-08. He was promoted to his current rank of Sergeant Major in January 2008 and reported to Marine Corps Base Hawaii where he served as the Marine Corps Air Station Sergeant Major. While at the Air Station, SgtMaj Cece attended the Navy C-40 Loadmaster School and was certified as a NATOPS Loadmaster and earned his Aircrew Wings.
In December 2009, he transferred to “America’s Battalion” 3d Battalion, 3d Marine Regiment, 3d Marine Division where he served as Battalion Sergeant Major. While in service of 3/3, he deployed in May 2010 to Afghanistan in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM 10.1. And in December 2011, deployed back to Afghanistan for OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM OEF-A 12.1.
SgtMaj Cece retired from the United States Marine Corps in August 2012 and joined Kapolei High School’s Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps Program serving as the Marine Instructor. While there, his program received the prestigious recognition of Naval Honor School three consecutive years, SY2014-15, SY2015-16, SY2016-17.
In September 2017, SgtMaj Cece (Ret) became the Military Liaison for Aligned Mortgage. His current mission is to educate Veterans on their VA Home Loan Benefit & to help them own a piece of the land that they have fought to defend.
Sergeant Major Cece’s personal decorations include the Legion of Merit Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal w/Gold Star (in lieu of 2nd award), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal w/Gold Star (in lieu of 2nd award), the Joint Services Achievement Medal w/Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster (in lieu of 2nd award), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon w/2 Gold Stars (in lieu of 3rd award), and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.
Sergeant Major Cece is married to the former Janet Patterson, and they are the parents of 5 daughters- three grown: Keila, Elliana, Cpl Te’a Cece, and two more still at home, Anisabella and Noemi. In 2013, they made their final PCS move to Makakilo, HI.