Camp Pendleton Base Sergeant Major Fired

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — The senior enlisted Marine for the base at Camp Pendleton, Calif., was fired last week due to “loss of confidence,” a spokesman confirmed Tuesday.

Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Jones was relieved May 9 “because of a ‘loss of confidence’ in his ability to perform that assignment,” Maj. Riccoh Player, a spokesman for Camp Pendleton, wrote in an e-mail reply to questions.

Jones was removed by Col. James Seaton III, the base commander, Player said.

Jones’ removal “was not for disciplinary reasons,” he said, but he declined to provide specifics into what prompted it.

Jones has been temporarily reassigned to a staff billet with Marine Corps Installations-West, said Player, who also is the spokesman for the Corps’ Western region. The regional command, which includes Pendleton and six other bases in California and Arizona, is headquartered at Pendleton, the Corps’ largest and busiest training base.

As of Tuesday, no one had yet been assigned to replace Jones as the base sergeant major, Player said.

Jones deployed to Iraq as the sergeant major with Pendleton-based 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, in 2004. He was the sergeant major for the School of Infantry-West before he assumed the job as the base sergeant major on Jan. 10.

Jones replaced Sgt. Maj. Wayne Bell, who retired Jan. 12 and who was dual-hatted as the top enlisted Marine for Camp Pendleton and for the Western region.

“The challenges that you will face you will be amazed. But it is something that you are more than ready for,” Seaton told Jones during their post-and-relief ceremony at the base, according to an article in The Scout, the base newspaper.