Thursday, May 31, 2007
16th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Shares his Vision With ‘Devil Dogs’

‘‘My focus is on the war fighters and their families and an overall better quality of life for Marines,” said the 16th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Carlton W. Kent.

A native of Tennessee, Kent assumed post as the 16th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps April 25th during a post-and-relief ceremony at Marine Barracks 8th&I. Looking back over his 31 years of service, he never thought that he would serve as the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps. He believes his Marine Corps career started rough. He reflected on his days as a corporal and sergeant and believes that the reason he obtained his current position as Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps was through good leadership he received as a young Marine.

‘‘If it wasn’t for my Gunnery Sergeant sitting me down and talking to me I would not stand in front of you today,” said Kent. ‘‘I have been where you have been.”

Good leadership, tattoos, and new physical training gear was some of the topics that Kent discussed during a Profession Military Education (PME) held at Headquarters Battalion, Henderson Hall Theater Wednesday.

‘‘I wanted to hear their issues as well as give them my vision,” said Kent.

Marines voiced their concerns on barracks life, educational opportunities and lateral moves.

‘‘We have a good Corps today,” encouraged Kent.

He talked about Marines that are in ‘‘the fight” and those Marine who want to get to ‘‘the fight.”

‘‘Warriors will get to the fight,” declared Kent.

The newly appointed Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps is also looking forward to increasing the ‘‘in-strength” of the Corps by 2,700 by fiscal year 2011. He believes an increase will build up units and provide relief for deployed warriors.

Kent would also like to see all of his Marines healthy, physically fit and within Marine Corps weight standards.

‘‘I expect Marines to stay in shape and be healthy,” said Kent.

Kent also addressed the new look of some of the uniforms Marines wear. The physical training uniform and staff non-commissioned officer (NCO) evening dress blouse are among some of the uniforms that will be altered. He believes the younger staff NCOs are the ones who have to live with the uniforms therefore they should aid in the decision-making process.

Kent not only lectured the Marines about what they can do for the Marine Corps but he advised them on taking advantage of what the Corps can do for them. He advised them to take advantage of educational opportunities and to contribute to their Thrift Savings Plans for their retirement.

‘‘There is life after Corps,” said Kent.

Kent believes that he accomplished a lot through the PME.

‘‘I was able to share my views and get their feedback,” said Kent.

Kent will be making visits to Camp Lejeune and Europe in the coming months.