Photo Information

Sergeant Major Micheal P. Barrett, the 17th sergeant major of the Marine Corps, stands ready to retire from active duty in the Marine Corps during the sergeant major of the Marine Corps post and relief ceremony at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, February 20, 2015. Barrett has served in the Marines since 1981.

Photo by Sgt. Melissa Karnath

Post of Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps changes hands

20 Feb 2015 | Cpl. Cuong Le Defense Media Activity

The 17th Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Micheal P. Barrett relinquished his post to the 18th Sgt. Maj. Ronald Green  Feb. 20, 2015, at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.

The passage of a simple sword symbolizes the responsibility of taking care of the Marines and sailors. This duty now lies in the hands of Green.

The post of sergeant major of the Marine Corps was established in 1957 and fills the function of advising the commandant about enlisted matters. The post was the first of its kind in all four branches of the United States Armed Forces. In 1970, an eEagle, gGlobe and aAnchor flanked by two five-point stars was added to the rank insignia as opposed to a single five-point stars worn by other Marine Corps sergeants major.

“As we say goodbye to the 17th sergeant major of the Marine Corps, we are fortunate to have another Marine step up as our 18th sergeant major of the Marine Corps,” said General Joseph F. Dunford, the commandant of the Marine Corps. “Sgt. Maj. Ronald Green has established himself as a superb Marine leader over the course of 31 years.”

Barrett has fulfilled the duties of the post since 2011.During his term he provided guidance on enlisted matters such as: training, education, compensation, quality of life, bachelor enlisted quarters, on-base housing, and family support programs.  All while the Corps finished its operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and began restructuring to meet the needs of the United States of America.

“The Corps is in great hands will continue to be in great hands because there is no shortage of young people to put on the cloth of this nation,” said Barrett, the 17th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, retired." I am leaving with a happy heart.”

Green takes his post during a time of transition. A Corps poised to answer the crises of tomorrow. Whatever or wherever it may be.

“We are committed to our Nation, to our Corps and to our families. That is what today is all about,” said Green. “It’s about reaffirming our commitment.”