A. J. Lukus of Cottonwood has been promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant with the U.S. Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Master Sergeant Lukus enlisted in the Marine Corps in June 1992 after graduating from Mingus Union High School. During his 16-year career with the Marines, A.J. has served as part of the Commander in Chief's Aircraft Security Detail, coordinating security support with U.S. Embassies, and was hand picked to provide security for numerous dignitaries which include the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.
He served as Platoon Commander and Platoon Sergeant to the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Platoon Master Gunner, supervising all gunnery training for his platoon and has served two tours in Iraq.
Upon returning from Iraq in 2006, Master Sergeant Lukus was transferred to the Light Armored Vehicle Training Company, Advanced Infantry Training Battalion School of Infantry West. While at LAVTC Master Sergeant Lukus served as Staff Non-Commissioned Officer of the Light Armored Vehicle Crewman Course, Operation Chief and is now serving as the Staff Non-Commissioned Officer of the Light Armored Reconnaissance Leaders Course.
A.J. is the son of Livi and Chico Gonzales of Cottonwood. He married Jennifer Bishop in 1993 and they have one son, Nicholas, age 11.