MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Virginia --
Marine Corps Systems Command bid farewell to its senior enlisted advisor and welcomed its newest member of the leadership team in a Relief and Appointment ceremony aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, June 1.
Sgt. Maj. Fletcher Pearson—who has served as the command’s senior enlisted leader since 2013 and retired after 30 years of service—was honored with the Legion of Merit and a certificate of appreciation from the president. He was also presented a flag flown at Hospital Point over MCSC headquarters.
“I want to thank everyone who was able to be here today, and those who were not,” said Pearson. “MCSC is a diverse place, full of a lot of smart people who represent a full spectrum of abilities. I have loved every moment of my time here at this command.”
During the ceremony Brig. Gen. Joseph Shrader, commander of MCSC, thanked Pearson for his unwavering dedication to the mission of the command and the welfare of its Marines and Civilian Marines.
“This is not an ending for you,” Shrader said to Pearson. “This is half time. And no matter what your next endeavor is, you are going to take the field just like you did 30 years ago when you enlisted in the Corps. Thank you so much. I’m going to miss you.”
Assuming the position is Sgt. Maj. Gary Smith, who formerly served as the senior enlisted leader at Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa and 4th Marine Logistics Group, as well as director of the Quantico Staff Noncommissioned Officer Academy.
Accepting the noncommissioned officer sword him from Pearson, Smith promised it would remain untarnished as he assumed the new responsibility.
“I am here, and I’m all in,” he said, addressing the MCSC Marines and civilians in attendance. “I am proud to be your sergeant major and I will never lose sight of our mission.”
As the senior enlisted leader of MCSC, Smith serves as the principal advisor to the commander on all issues affecting health, morale, welfare and professional development for Marines within the command.