Sergeant Major Zickefoose joined the Marine Corps in August 1985, and attended Boot Camp at MCRD San Diego, CA. After completing Boot Camp, he reported to Camp Pendleton, CA, to begin training in the Infantry Training School (ITS). PFC Zickefoose was the Honor Graduate of ITS and was meritoriously promoted. He then reported to the Naval Weapons Station, Yorktown, VA, he was assigned as a Marine Security Guard. During this time, he attended the Basic Airborne Course in Fort Benning, GA.
In January 1988, LCpl Zickefoose received orders to 3d Battalion, 9th Marines of Camp Pendleton, CA. He was assigned to Company K and served as a Fire Team Leader, Squad Leader, and a Platoon Sergeant. After Deploying to Okinawa, Corporal Zickefoose was reassigned to the Scout Sniper Platoon. During the Battalion’s deployment to Operation DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM, he was meritoriously combat promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Sgt Zickefoose became the Scout Sniper Platoon Sergeant and was deployed to Somalia. After four deployments with 3d Battalion, 9th Marines, Sgt Zickefoose was sent to Division Schools to await orders to attend the Drill Instructor School in San Diego, CA. Prior to enrolling in school, he helped instruct the Scout Sniper Basic Course, HRST Course, and the MOUT Instructor Course.
Sgt Zickefoose reported for Drill Instructor School in January 1994. Upon graduation, he was assigned to Hotel Company, 2d Battalion and served as a Drill Instructor and Senior Drill Instructor. He was meritoriously promoted to Staff Sergeant and subsequently awarded the leadership award.
SSgt Zickefoose was selected to report to Quantico, VA, to become the Chief Instructor/SNCOIC of the Scout Sniper Instructor School. At the school, he was in charge of the Scout Sniper Basic Course, Advance Scout Sniper Course, and the Sniper Employment Officers Courses. During this time, he helped develop and test the following: the AN/PVS-14, M40A3 Sniper Rifle, DM Rifle, Integrated Night Observation Device, and the M82A1A SASR. Prior to receiving his next set of orders, SSgt Zickefoose was sent to Officer Candidate School to act as a Sergeant Instructor.
In October 1999, SSgt Zickefoose received orders to report to 2d Battalion, 6th Marines where he was assigned to the Scout Sniper Platoon for the 24th MEU. He was later reassigned to Echo Company as the Company Gunnery Sergeant for the 22d MEU as it supported Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. Upon returning, he was selected for First Sergeant and redeployed as the Company E First Sergeant in Iraq (Operation IRAQI FREEDOM). He later returned and redeployed to Okinawa for a UDP. Upon completion of the UDP, 2d Battalion was attached to the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade as the Marine Corps Anti-Terrorism Battalion. During the Battalion’s Anti-Terrorism duties, 1stSgt Zickefoose returned to Afghanistan with Company E for the Presidential elections and served as a member of the Personnel Security Detail for President Karzai. He then was redeployed back to Iraq (OIF 4-06, 5-06) as the Company 1stSgt, Company E, 2d Battalion, 6th Marines.
After returning from Iraq, 1stSgt Zickefoose was selected for Sergeant Major and received orders for Recruiting Duty. He was assigned as the Recruiting Station Sergeant Major of Oklahoma City, OK, from August 2006 to May 2009.
From May 2009 to April 2012, SgtMaj Zickefoose served as the SgtMaj of the 1st Marine Regiment. During this time he deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, and served as the RCT-1 SgtMaj.
SgtMaj Zickefoose assumed responsibilities as 2d Marine Division SgtMaj during the 2d Marine Division Relief and Appointment ceremony 27 April 2012.
SgtMaj Zickefoose’ s personal awards include: the Silver Star Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with 1 gold star and 1 Combat Distinguishing Device, Meritorious Service Medal with 1 Gold Star, Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal with 1 Gold Star, Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal with 1 Gold Star, and the Combat Action Ribbon with 3 Gold Stars.
Sergeant Major Zickefoose assumed duties as SOUTHCOM Command Senior Enlisted Leader Jan. 6, 2017.