MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Sergeant Maj. Rick Cunningham handed the enlisted authority as 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit sergeant major to Sgt. Maj. John Scott in a relief and appointment ceremony, today on the Camp Del Mar parade deck.
Following Marine Corps tradition, the outgoing and incoming sergeants major passed the noncommissioned officer sword, symbolizing the change of responsibility between the two senior enlisted leaders.
“I’m envious,” said Cunningham to Scott. “I’m handing you the keys to a Porsche. This is by far the best unit in the Marine Corps.”
The ceremony began with an invocation from the unit’s chaplain Lt. Cmdr. David D. Dinkins and continued with a sound off and marching the command in review.
Colonel Scott D. Campbell, the unit’s commanding officer, spoke highly of his former sergeant major.
“In my eight and a half months in command, you’ve been a true pillar of wisdom,” said Campbell to Cunningham. “I appreciate all you’ve done; the advice and counsel has been superb. You will be sorely missed,” he added.
Scott accepted his new challenge as the unit’s sergeant major with enthusiasm.
“It’s an honor and a privilege for (me and my family) to join the 15th MEU team,” said Scott. “I’m truly honored and humbled to be here. I’m all about this unit from this day forward,” he added.
Scott, 41, and a native of Carson, Calif., comes from Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 39 on Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton. Cunningham, 47, and a native of New Richmond, Wis., served three years with the unit and will retire in April of next year after nearly 30 years of service.