Sergeant Major Byrd was born in Pontiac, Michigan on 9 August 1965. In January 1984, he graduated from Pontiac Northern High School. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on 26 September 1985 and attended recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California. Upon completion of recruit training in December he reported to Infantry Training School (ITS) at Camp Pendleton, California. He graduated ITS in February 1986 with the military occupational specialty (MOS) 0311. He was promoted to the rank of Private First Class (PFC) upon graduating from ITS.
In March 1986, Sergeant Major Byrd was assigned to Charlie Company, First Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division. During this tour he served as the platoon radio operator, fire team leader, and squad leader. He was promoted to Lance Corporal in 1986. In 1987, he was deployed with the unit to Okinawa, Japan for a six month deployment. During the deployment he was meritoriously promoted to the rank of Corporal. In March 1989 Sergeant Major Byrd reenlisted and received orders for Marine Cadre School at Marine Security Forces Battalion, Mare Island, California.
In June 1989, Sergeant Major Byrd graduated Marine Cadre School, and received orders to Lemoore Naval Air Station, Lemoore, California. During this assignment Sergeant Major Byrd was responsible for training the auxiliary security force (ASF) on perimeter security, and anti-terrorism force protection measures. In addition, he provided marksmanship training for all personnel aboard the base. Sergeant Major Byrd was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in August 1990.
In July 1992 Sergeant Major Byrd reported to Bravo Company, First Battalion, Eighth Marines, Second Marine Division. During this tour he served as a squad leader, platoon guide, platoon sergeant, and as the battalion substance abuse control officer (SACO). Also during this tour he deployed to Okinawa, Japan on the unit deployment plan (UDP), the Mediterranean Sea with 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), and with the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF) for the contingency in Haiti.
In July 1995, Sergeant Major Byrd reported to Hotel Company, Marine Combat Training (MCT) Battalion, Camp Geiger in Jacksonville, North Carolina. During this tour he held the billets of Platoon Commander Hotel Company, heavy machinegun instructor for MCT Battalion, and academic instructor for the machine-gunner package at MCT. In October 1996 Sergeant Major Byrd was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant.
In March 1998, Sergeant Major Byrd reported to DI school. Upon graduating DI school he was assigned to Hotel Company, Second Recruit Training Battalion. During this tour of duty he served as a drill instructor, senior drill instructor, chief drill instructor, and as a first aid instructor at the Academic Instructor Platoon (AIP). Sergeant Major Byrd was selected as the Drill Instructor of the Year for Second Battalion in 1998. Sergeant Major Byrd was promoted to the rank of Gunnery Sergeant in August 2001.
In February 2002 Sergeant Major Byrd reported to Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, Twenty-nine Palms, California. During this tour he served as the Platoon Sergeant for the combined anti-armor team (CAAT) for Weapons Company, Company Gunnery Sergeant and First Sergeant for Headquarters and Service (H&S) Company. During this tour he deployed twice, once on UDP (Unit Deployment Plan) for ten months to Okinawa, and the second time in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II (OIF II).
Sergeant Major Byrd was frocked to the rank of First Sergeant in January 2005. In July 2005 he reported for Instructor and Inspector (I&I) Duty with Marine Wing Support Squadron 472, Detachment Alpha,
Wyoming, Pennsylvania. During this tour he served as the Site First Sergeant, and senior enlisted advisor for the detachment.
Sergeant Major Byrd was frocked to his current rank in September 2008, and reported to Third Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station, Camp Pendleton, California. Sergeant Major Byrd served with Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169 (HMLA-169) from September 2008 through September 2011. During this tour he deployed twice to Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).
Sergeant Major Byrd reported to Manpower Management Division at Quantico, Virginia in October 2011. He was assigned as the senior enlisted for Manpower Management Support Branch 30 (MMSB-30). He was the subject matter expert on the Marine Corps Performance Evaluation, and fitness reports.
Sergeant Major Byrd assumed his current billet as the SgtMaj of Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia on 18 December 2013.
Sergeant Major Byrd’s awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal two gold stars in lieu of third award, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with two gold stars in lieu of third award, and the Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.
Sergeant Major Byrd is married to the former Tova Lynn Daniel. They have three children: Mark Jr., Quamaine currently serving active duty in the United States Air Force, and daughter Quaniqua .