View Full Version : New command sergeant major takes helm at MCLB

03-02-06, 08:37 AM
New command sergeant major takes helm at MCLB
MCLB Albany
Story by: Ms. Michelle Stewart

MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga.(March 2, 2006) -- You may have seen him walking around -- smiling and greeting all who he comes in contact with -- gauging the tempo of the command. He exudes a quiet air of confidence. He must, because he carries a lot on his shoulders. He is an opinion maker, interpreter and at times an apologist. He can, and will, explain the commander to the troops in a language they can understand. He is a confidant. He can be told the real, sometimes personal reasons for decisions. He can be counted upon to put a good face on something unpopular. He can be a sounding board for ideas, a critical audience and can maintain absolute silence if necessary -- he’s the new command sergeant major.

Georgia-born Sgt. Maj. Randall Kennedy will take the helm as Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany sergeant major from Acting Base Sergeant Major 1st Sgt. Anthony Wade in a ceremony here Friday.

Kennedy succeeds Sgt. Maj. Cherry McPherson who made a permanent change of station move Nov. 21 to serve as the sergeant major of Transportation Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Prior to reporting here, Kennedy served in several capacities as sergeant major to include MWCS-28, MACG-28, 2nd Marine Air Wing, Cherry Point, N.C. where he deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom and Recruit Training Regiment, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C.

Kennedy’s other duty stations include Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii; Camp Lejeune, N.C.; Quantico, Va.; Camp Pendleton, Calif.; 29 Palms, Calif.; and I&I Staff, Roanoke, Va.

Kennedy is enthusiastic about his new assignment.

“Marines have to believe in their hearts, that I am their sergeant major and that I am approachable,” explained Kennedy when asked about the friendly and light-hearted air he has about him. “Although I’m not their first line of help -- if they do have the occasion to run aground in the search for help -- I am here for them.”

Kennedy, a native son, looks forward to spending time with his family.

“It’s great to be home. It’s funny that while growing up I never noticed a Marine presence here. The only Marine I remember was my recruiter. Spending 27 plus years traveling the world, this is a great opportunity to share the Marine Corps with my extended family,” he said.

Although he has extended family members here, his Marine family has the main focus.

“My primary focus is taking care of the Marines.”

According to Kennedy he didn’t hear much about Albany, thus he arrived here with no preconceived notions.

“It was an eye opener to learn of the small number of Marines stationed here. But the Marines here are on solid footing and have made a good initial impression. It is an atmosphere that is different from other installations, but that is not necessarily a bad thing as long as the Marines don’t lose sight of who they are and what they represent,” Kennedy said.

The slower pace presents advantages for the Marines stationed here.

“Marines should take advantage of being here. The slower pace allows the Marines to spend more quality time with their families to pursue off-duty education and outside interests. Their next assignment may not afford them the opportunity to do so,” Kennedy said.

While the operation tempo here may be slower than other installations, Kennedy reminds Marines that there is no such animal as an “Albany Marine.”

“We are all Marines, first and foremost. It doesn’t matter if you are at Camp Lejeune among thousands, or here where you are the only Marine in your shop. We must do ‘Marine things’ like adhere to customs and courtesies, stay physically fit, qualify on the pistol and rifle ranges and maintain our skills in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, just to name a few. We are Marines and it’s my responsibility to ensure that we all walk, talk and act like Marines.

“Taking care of Marines doesn’t mean coddling them. It’s identifying the standards, teaching them how to achieve the standards and holding them accountable if they fail to maintain the standards. We must also look out for their career, professional development and provide sound advice that will allow them to make well-informed decisions,” Kennedy stressed.

“When our Marines lose their enthusiasm, they lose their warrior spirit. This can be a difficult duty station for first-term Marines. We have to make sure we present them with the challenges they expect as Marines. If not, at the end of their contracts we’ll lose some good Marines.”

How a Marine acts reflects not only on himself but all Marines. “It’s important that we afford our civilians the same courtesies that we afford each other,” Kennedy said.

“When you enter the installation the sign reads ‘Marine Corps Logistics Base.’let this serve as a subtle reminder that this is the Marine Corps. Don’t let your example be grounds for someone to say they no longer make them like they did in the ‘old Corps,’” Kennedy said.

“Like the old poster read, ‘If you were accused of being a Marine, would there be enough evidence to convict you?’”