Pepe Ramirez was born in the Philippines, grew up in the south side of Chicago, and graduated high school in Houston, Texas. He served on active duty in the Marine Corps for twenty years and retired with a rank of Sergeant Major (SgtMaj). He held various billets such as: Platoon Sergeant, Company Gunnery Sergeant, Drill Instructor, First Sergeant, Site Sergeant Major, Director Corporals Course, Training Chief, Chief Water Survival Instructor, Uniform Victim Advocate, Family Readiness Officer, and Casualty Assistance Calls Officer (CACO). He attended Jungle Environment Survival Training (JEST), Marine Combat Instructor Trainer of Water Survival, Drill Instructor School, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (Black belt instructor), and Mountain Warfare Training. He had three tours in Iraq (2003, 2004, and 2006). While on active duty, he attended night school and graduated from National University with a Bachelor in Psychology (minor in Research Psychology). Upon his retirement, he took on the position of Combat Operational Stress Control Regional Training Coordinator (COSC RTC) for Marine Forces Reserve in which he gave classes on Combat Operational Stress Control, Pre-Deployment, Deployment, and Reintegration to Marines and their families. He has given briefs (Understanding Military Culture) to mental health therapists for the Navy’s Psychological Outreach Program and at Fort Carson to soldiers and their spouses about PTSD. While working full time, he attended school full time and earned his Master Degree in Social Work (Families Track) with a Certificate in Interpersonal Trauma Studies from University of Denver. He interned at Spalding Rehab Hospital, which specializes in treating amputees, strokes, and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). He is also an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) provider. He hopes to have the opportunity to apply for a PhD program in Clinical Psychology in the near future.
Some of his military awards are: Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal in lieu of two gold stars(OIF, Lifesaving, Drill Instructor), Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal in lieu of one gold star (Lifesaving, Ceremonial Platoon), Outstanding Military Volunteer Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with three bronze stars, National Defense Medal with two bronze stars, Good Conduct Medal, Drill Instructor ribbon, Combat Action ribbon, and four Meritorious Promotions (Lance Corporal, Corporal, Sergeant, and Gunnery Sergeant).