MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines and sailors with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit bode farewell to Sgt. Maj. Carl Chapman as command sergeant major and welcomed Sgt. Maj. Joel Collins during a relief and appointment ceremony aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., March 7, 2013.
Chapman will be retiring in June after 30 years of faithful service to the Marine Corps. Sgt. Maj. Robert VanOostrom, II Marine Expeditionary Force sergeant major, attended the ceremony and spoke highly of Chapman and Collins.
“Today is the emblematic passing of the sword,” said VanOostrom. He added that sergeants major and master gunnery sergeants of the Marine Corps represent one percent of the enlisted population, and the passing of the sword symbolizes the transfer of authority as the commanding officer’s senior enlisted advisor.
After the ceremony, Chapman discussed his time in the Marine Corps and gave some parting words for the Marines and sailors.
“My time has come. It’s been 30 years and it’s been a good run,” said Chapman. “I’ve enjoyed my last four years and I’m going out the way I wanted to go out: from the operating forces.”
Chapman added he will remain in the Jacksonville, N.C., area after his official retirement in June 2013.
Collins, recently transferred from 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, told the Marines and sailors that he is enthusiastic to be with the MEU.
“I wanted to be here,” said Collins. “I am looking forward to working with each and every one of you.”