Sergeant First Class Jose M. Caraballo enlisted in the Army in 1995 and attended Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training as a 19K (Armor Crewmen) at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
His initial assignment was to the 1st Battalion, 67th Armor, with the 4th Infantry Division in Fort Hood, Texas. He served as a tank loader/driver and participated in Intrinsic Action 97-3 in Kuwait. After returning from Kuwait, he remained in the 67th Armor until June 1998. He was reassigned to the 2nd Battalion, 63rd Amor, in Vilseck, Germany. He was promoted to Sergeant, where he served as Tank Gunner.
He participated in Task Force Sabre in Macedonia in the year 2000. Upon completing his tour in Germany, he was reassigned to the 3rd Battalion, 66th Armor, in Fort Hood, Texas. He was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant and served as a Tank Commander, and participated in the Invasion of Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF-1) in March 2003. After returning from OIF-1, he was reassigned to the 2nd Battalion, 81st Armor, at Fort Knox, Kentucky, where he served as a Drill Sergeant for 19K One-Station Unit Training (OSUT).
He attended the Armor Senior Leader Course and was later promoted to Sergeant First Class. After completing his assignment at Fort Knox, Kentucky, in 2006, he was reassigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment with the Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT), Fort Wainwright, Alaska. While at Fort Wainwright, he served as the Mobile Gun System (MGS) Platoon Sergeant from 2006 to 2010. He participated in Talisman Saber 2007 in Australia and the second deployment supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF-5) from 2008 to 2009. In 2010 he was reassigned to the 10th Mountain Division Head Quarters (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, New York. Upon arrival, he deployed to Afghanistan to support Operation Enduring Freedom as a Future Operations (FUOPS) Senior NCO in G-35 from 2010 to 2011. Upon returning, he was reassigned to the University of New Hampshire Army ROTC Wildcat Battalion, 2nd Brigade, Cadet Command.
Sergeant First Class Caraballo's military and civilian education include the Primary Leadership Development Course, the Basic Non-commissioned Officer's Course, the Master Fitness Course, and the Advanced Non-commissioned Officer's Course.
Sergeant First Class Caraballo holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Business Management from Wayland Baptist University.
Sergeant First Class Caraballo's awards include the Bronze Star Medal (2nd award), Meritorious Service Medal (2nd award), Army Commendation Medal with Valor, Army Commendation Medal (5th award), Army Achievement Medal (2nd award), Army Good Conduct Medal (5th award), National Defense Service Medal (2nd award), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal (bronze service stars), Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal (two bronze combat stars), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon (3rd award), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (5th award), North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal (ISAF and Kosovo), Drill Sergeant Identification Badge, Combat Action's Badge, The Order of Saint George (Bronze).