MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT --
Sgt. Maj. Richard Thresher relinquished his post as the sergeant major of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing to Sgt. Maj. Howard Kreamer during a relief and appointment ceremony aboard Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, Dec. 8, 2016.
Kreamer is coming to 2nd MAW from 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, where he was the sergeant major.
"For the last two years I have observed the Marines and Sailors of 2nd MAW as the 2nd MEB sergeant major,” said Kreamer. “In every environment from 29 Palms to Norway, they have always impressed me with their professionalism and work ethic.”
During the ceremony, the transfer of a noncommissioned officer sword from the outgoing to the incoming sergeant major symbolized the passing of duties for that position. The NCO sword exchanged between the two symbolizes the transfer of sacred trust from one sergeant major to the next.
“I am excited to be a part of the team and look forward to working for every Marine and Sailor in 2nd MAW," said Kreamer.
The rank of sergeant major dates back to the 13th century when the title applied to the chief tenant of a knight’s military entourage. The grade is peculiar in that it has at various times been applied to commissioned officers as well as NCOs. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the sergeant major was field officer below the grade of lieutenant colonel, equivalent to the major today. In the mid-17th century, sergeant major was actually a general officer rank equivalent to today’s major general.
From the 18th century to present, sergeant major has become the title of the highest NCO grade.
“What the Marine Corps does is produce people like Howard Kreamer,” said Thresher. “You guys are going to forget about me, because Howard Kreamer is better than I am.”
Thresher will remain in the Carolina Marine Air-Ground Task Force as the sergeant major of II Marine Expeditionary Force, Dec. 15.