Master Gunnery Sergeant Salvador Lopez was born in Santa Ana, El Salvador.
He enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 1997. He graduated recruit training, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California in November 1997 and was meritoriously promoted to Private First Class.
Following recruit training Private First Class Lopez attended and graduated Infantry Training in Camp Pendleton, California. He was ordered to 2d Battalion 4th Marines, Camp Pendleton, California for duty, where he would serve as Squad Automatic Weapon gunner, Fire Team Leader, and Squad Leader. During this time he would be promoted to Lance Corporal, Corporal, and Sergeant. During the second deployment with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, Sergeant Lopez volunteered for Scout Sniper Platoon screener in late December 2000. He successfully passed the screener and began training as a Sniper. In June 2001 he attended 1st Marine Division Scout Sniper School and graduated. Sergeant Lopez would serve as Maritime Special Purpose Force Team Leader, Chief Scout Sniper, and Sniper Platoon Sergeant. In July 2005 he was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant and served as the Sniper Platoon Sergeant for another 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit deployment. Staff Sergeant Lopez spent eight and a half years at 2d Battalion, 4th Marines.
In June 2006 Staff Sergeant Lopez attended Marine Combat Instructor School in Camp Pendleton, California and was assigned to be an Instructor at Sniper School. From August 2006 to August 2009 he would serve as the Primary Instructor for Field Skills, Stalking, and the schools Chief Instructor. During his time at Sniper School he would attend different schools for training to include the Basic Reconnaissance Course and would be selected to represent the Marine Corps at the International Sniper Competition located in Fort Benning, Georgia. His team would place 3rd in 2008 overall. In February 2009 Staff Sergeant Lopez was promoted to the rank of Gunnery Sergeant.
In August 2009 Gunnery Sergeant Lopez reported to 3d Battalion 7th Marines where he served as Scout Sniper Platoon Sergeant. During this time, Gunnery Sergeant Lopez successfully completed the MARSOC Assessment and Selection. A month prior to deployment to Afghanistan he would be tasked to be a part of the Embedded Training Team the Battalion was tasked to form. Gunnery Sergeant Lopez would be a Company Level Mentor for two different Kandak Battalions in two different Areas of Operations.
In July 2011 he received orders to 1st Battalion, 6th Marines. Gunnery Sergeant Lopez deployed to Germany in support of Joint Special Operations Task Force-Trans Sahara/Special Operations Command Africa. He assumed the duties of Future Operations/Current Operations desk officer for eight of the 13 countries in the Trans Sahel. He was deployed multiple times to different location in Africa to include Mauritania, Mali, Nigeria and Morocco.
In March 2013, Gunnery Sergeant Lopez returned to 1st Battalion, 6th Marines and was sent on an Individual Augment to Twentynine Palms to assume the duties of Senior Enlisted Instructor Controller (Coyote) at Tactical Training Exercise Control Group (TTECG). During this time Gunnery Sergeant Lopez was responsible for the employment of all machine gun, anti-armor, and Infantry tactics on Team West.
In January 2014, Gunnery Sergeant Lopez received orders to School of Infantry East to assume the duties of Staff Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of Scout Sniper School. During this time he also served as a Combat Instructor Trainer at the Combat Instructor School.
In May 2015, Gunnery Sergeant Lopez reported to Quantico, Virginia with Scout Sniper Instructor School where he served as the Staff Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge. During this time he also served as the Research and Development Staff Non-Commissioned Officer working closely with MARCORSYSCOM and various units and companies in acquisitions. He received the MOS of 0571 Foreign Security Force Advisor.
In January 2017, Gunnery Sergeant Lopez was promoted to Master Sergeant and deployed as the Headquarters Commandant for the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. He attended the Operations and Tactics Instructor Course upon return from deployment. In June of 2019, he received PCA orders to I MEF Information Group (I MIG) where he served as the Operations Chief.
In January of 2022, Master Sergeant Lopez was promoted to his current rank and executed orders to his current assignment as Operations Chief for 1st Battalion, 8th Marines.
His personal awards include the Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Gold star in lieu of second award, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat Distinguishing device and Gold star in lieu of second award, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Combat Action ribbon with Gold star in lieu of second award, Good Conduct Medal with silver and two bronze stars in lieu of eighth award, Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and numerous unit and service awards.
He is married to Jenessa Lopez and he has one daughter Stephanie (19) and two step kids Connor (10) and Addison (8).