SgtMaj Derby enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1993 and reported to MCRD, Parris Island, SC for recruit training. Following graduation, he reported to Marine Combat Training at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and Aviation Operations School in Meridian, Mississippi for MOS school. From May 1994 to June 1998, SgtMaj Derby was assigned to MCAS Tustin, CA, and served as an Operations Clerk and Operations Chief with Marine Heavy Helicopter (HMH) Squadrons 361 and 465. As a collateral duty, he also served as an Aerial Gunner/Observer on the CH-53E. SgtMaj Derby completed two Unit Deployment Programs (UDPs) to MCAS Futenma in Okinawa, Japan in 1995 and 1997.
In July of 1998, SgtMaj Derby reported to DI School, MCRD Parris Island, SC, and further served with A Co, 1st Recruit Training Battalion. During his tour he served as a Drill Instructor, Senior Drill Instructor and Series Gunnery Sergeant and was meritoriously promoted to Staff Sergeant in July 2000. Following a successful tour at Parris Island, SgtMaj Derby received orders to MCAS Beaufort, S.C. where he served as the Flight Planning SNCOIC, Airfield Operations Chief, and a C-12 Crew Chief.
In May of 2004 SgtMaj Derby received orders to First Marine Aircraft Wing, G-3, Okinawa Japan where he served as the Current Operations Chief, Ground Training Chief and Assistant Wing Operations Chief. Additional duties included serving as an Inspector for the Commanding Generals Inspection Program. He was promoted to Gunnery Sergeant in October 2004. In June 2007, SgtMaj Derby received orders to report to HMLA/T-303 at Camp Pendleton where he served as the Operations Chief.
In January 2008, he was promoted to First Sergeant and reported to Battery I, 3/12, 1st Battalion, 11th Marines where he served as the Battery 1stSgt. In May 2008, he deployed with Battalion Landing Team 2/5 in support of the 15th MEU and again in 2010 to the Kajaki District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan with 1st Battalion, 11th Marines, attached to Regimental Combat Team 2. In May 2011, SgtMaj Derby reported to Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego where he served as Company 1stSgt, Service Company, Headquarters and Service Battalion.
In September 2013, SgtMaj Derby was promoted to his current rank and reported to MCAS Miramar as the Squadron SgtMaj, Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352. In November 2015, he transferred to Camp Pendleton and served as the Battalion SgtMaj, Assault Amphibian School Battalion. In February 2018, SgtMaj Derby report to his current assignment as the I MEF Information Group SgtMaj.
SgtMaj Derby has graduated with honors/distinction from the Aviation Operations Specialist Course, Sergeants Course, DI School, SNCO Career Course, and was the honor graduate from the SNCO Advance Course. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management Studies from the University of Maryland University College and is pursuing his Master’s Degree in the Psychology of Leadership Program through Penn State University.
SgtMaj Derby’s personal decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (Third Award), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
(Fifth Award) and the Combat Action Ribbon.