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U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Jonathan Cerecedes, a Surprise, Arizona, native and watch commander with Provost Marshal Office on Marine Corps Base Quantico, conducts his meritorious promotion ceremony to gunnery sergeant at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, Triangle, Virginia, April 5, 2024. Cerecedes competed with approximately 13,000 staff sergeants in the Marine Corps for 21 slots to meritoriously promote to gunnery sergeant, and beat about 99 percent of the Marines for that promotion. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Sean R. LeClaire)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Sean LeClaire

U.S. Marine meritoriously promotes at top 1% of rank, grade

8 Apr 2024 | Lance Cpl. Sean LeClaire Marine Corps Base Quantico

Nearly 13,000 staff sergeants in the Marine Corps competed for 21 slots to meritoriously promote to gunnery sergeant, and a Quantico Marine beat about 99% of the Marines for that promotion.

For his “outstanding performance of his duties and exceptional character,” as his promotion warrant reads, Gunnery Sgt. Jonathan M. Cerecedes was meritoriously promoted to his current rank at the National Museum of the Marine Corps today. “I have had great noncommissioned officers and staff NCOs who taught me that the Marine Corps promotes based on future performance not of past performance,” Cercedes said, “so that’s kept me hungry.”

Cercedes recently came from Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, to his current role as the watch commander with MCBQ’s Provost Marshal Office. Within a short time, he had made an impression on his command.

“His ability to mentor and foster the next generation of military police officers and Marines has simply been inspiring to observe.” Maj. Michael Flanigan

“Gunnery Sgt. Cerecedes has the unrelenting passion, work ethic, and leadership that are the epitome of what it means to be a staff non-commissioned officer within the Marine Corps,” said Master Sgt. Mark Daniels, the operations chief with PMO. With his new rank, Cercedes will take over the Special Reaction Team as its commander. “He brings an unparalleled value to the Marine Corps that will continue to pay dividends for future generations,” Daniels said. “His influence and example are of the type that resonate through all Marines in his presence.”

Regarding his upcoming role, he explained it will provide “the privilege to get in contact with more Marines and use my ability to influence and impact careers in a more profound way.”

Out of all the Marines who competed to promote, Cercedes, statistically speaking while serving in a non-special duty assignment, is at the top 0.154% of all staff sergeants in the Marine Corps, according to Maj. Michael Flanigan, the executive officer of Security Battalion. “His professionalism, uniform appearance, bearing, candor, and devotion to duty are without peer,” Flanigan said, alluding that his capacity as a Marine is difficult to compete with.

Cercedes also shared one piece of advice to the Marines who seek to do well with their time in the Marine Corps. “It’s absolutely okay to fail,” he stated. “It’s what you do with that failure afterward. No one is perfect, and excuses will prevent you from succeeding. Someone is always doing more than you, and you have to foster healthy competition to never get stagnant.” The ceremony concluded with unit congratulations to Cercedes.

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