Sergeant Major Ortega enlisted in the Marine Corps in January 1990 and attended Recruit Training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, Ca. Upon completion of Recruit Training, PVT Ortega was transferred to the School of Infantry, Camp Pendleton, Ca where he completed the 0331 Machine-Gunners Course. After completion of school, he was assigned to Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment Camp Pendleton, Ca and deployed in support of Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield.
In March 1991 LCpl Ortega was transferred to Weapons Company, 3d Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment. He deployed with the 31st MEU and it was during this deployment that he achieved the rank of Corporal meritoriously.
Sergeant Ortega attended Marine Corps Security Force School in July 1994. After completion of school he was assigned to Marine Corps Security Force Company Roosevelt Roads, P.R. where he spent the next three years and served as Sergeant of the Guard.
After completion of security force duty in August 1997, Sergeant Ortega received orders to Weapons Company, 3d Battalion, 3d Marine Regiment, Kaneohe Bay, Hi. where he filled the billet of Section Leader for the Combined Anti-Armor Platoon. In February 2000 he attended the Scout Sniper Basic Course and upon successful completion was reassigned within the Battalion to the Scout Sniper Platoon where he served as Platoon Sergeant and Platoon Commander. Deployments with the unit include two UDP’s to Okinawa, Japan.
Staff Sergeant Ortega received orders to Marine Security Guard (MSG) School, Quantico, VA in March 2001. After successful completion of school, he fulfilled the duties of Detachment Commander at the American Embassies Kathmandu, Nepal and Warsaw, Poland. In June 2004, Gunnery Sergeant Ortega, was selected to serve on the MSG School Staff as an Instructor Advisor. After sixteen months as an MSG Instructor Advisor at Quantico he requested orders to 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, Camp Pendleton, Ca. During this tenure he served as Company Gunnery Sergeant for Echo Company.
Upon his selection to the rank of First Sergeant in January 2007, he was transferred to 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment where he served as Company First Sergeant for Alpha Company and Headquarters & Service Company. He deployed twice in support of OIF during this time
In June of 2009, First Sergeant Ortega received orders to Security Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Ca where he held the billet of Company First Sergeant for Brig Company and Military Police Company.
Sergeant Major Ortega was selected to his present rank on November 2011. Upon his selection to Sergeant Major he received orders to Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 4, Cherry Point, NC where he served as the Squadron Sergeant Major. He deployed with the Squadron on a Unit Deployment Program to Iwakuni, Japan.
In June of 2014, Sergeant Major Ortega received orders to the School of Infantry (West). While at the School of Infantry (West) he served as the Battalion Sergeant Major for Advanced Infantry Training Battalion, as well as, for the Headquarters and Support Battalion.
Sergeant Major Ortega detached from the School of Infantry (West) in January 2016 and reported to Marine Aircraft Group 12 where he served as the Group Sergeant Major.
In March of 2018 he detached from Marine Aircraft Group 12 and reported to Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division to serve as the Battalion Sergeant Major.
His personal awards include: Meritorious Service Medal (fourth award), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (fifth award), Navy Achievement Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon.