LTC Cortez joined the Rutgers University Scarlet Knight Battalion in September 2019. He started his military career as an Enlisted Soldier. As a Staff Sergeant in 2002, he was selected for Officer Candidate School where he earned an Active Duty Army commission as an Infantry Officer branched detailed Logistics. He served as an Infantry Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer and Company Commander Forward Deployed to Iraq with 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division - FT. Benning, GA where he participated in the historic “Thunder Run” assault from Kuwait to Iraq. His second Command was as a Headquarters & Headquarters Battery (HHB) Commander. Some of his key developmental assignments were: Support Operations Officer (SPO), Brigade Logistics Officer, SPO Deputy Planner Korea, Security Forces Advisor Team Chief (SFA-T) Afghanistan with 4th Brigade 10th Mountain Division, Brigade Logistics Officer (S4), SPO, Logistics Advisor Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and G4 staff planning logistics support for KSA and Yemen conflict, Command and General Staff College write/Instructor (where he achieved the academic promotion to Assistant Professor from Army University), Department of the Army Staff and Inspector General’s Office (Pentagon, Washington D.C).
He’s had four combat tours; two in Iraq, one in Afghanistan and one in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. His highest awards and decorations are: Bronze Star with Two Oak leaf Clusters, Meritorious Service Medal Four Oak Leaf Clusters, Combat Infantry Badge, Combat Action Badge, Airborne, and Air Assault badges.