Sgt. 1st Class Carlos Zayas was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, and graduated from Colegio Catolico Notre Dame in Caguas, Puerto Rico. He joined the Army in 2008 and completed basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia and Advance Individual Training at Fort Eustis, Virginia. He was assigned to 297th Inland Cargo Transfer Company at Fort Hood, Texas. He served there for four years. During his time with the 297th, he deployed in 2011 for nine months to Afghanistan. He re-classed in December 2012 to interment/resettlement specialist and was assigned to the 526th Detention Company in January 2013. Zayas served there for five years with the 40th Military Police Detention Battalion. He was reassigned in 2018 to the 89th Military Police Brigade in Fort Hood, Texas for a year and a half.
Zayas graduated from the following military schools or courses: Cargo Officer, Generator Operator Course, Master Fitness Trainer, Combative Level 1, Hazard Material Course, Field Sanitation Course, Combat Life Saver, Warrior Leaders Course, Advanced Leaders Course, and Senior Leaders Course.
Zayas has a distinguished fitness career since 2013 when he began competing in local competitions around the Kansas and Missouri areas. He has won a variety of local competitions since that time. In 2018, Zayas placed second at Wodapalooza (national functional fitness event) on a team of three males in Miami, Florida. He competed twice at The Fittest Experience (national functional fitness event) in Austin, Texas and twice as a team of four and once as a team of three at the Granite Games (national functional fitness event) in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
His military awards include the Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon x3, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Driver Badge and Operators Badge.