Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point --
Sgt. Maj. Susan M. Bellis relieved Sgt. Maj. Danny Smith as 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing’s senior enlisted Marine at Cherry Point’s Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 hangar, March 12.
More than 250 Marines, Sailors, family members, friends and distinguished guests including Sgt. Maj. Carlton W. Kent, the sergeant major of the Marine Corps, were present to witness Smith pass the noncommissioned officer’s sword to Bellis.
The passing of the sword represents the transfer of authority from one senior enlisted Marine to another.
“I want to personally thank you, Sgt. Maj. Smith, for the support you gave me here at 2nd MAW,” said Maj. Gen. James F. Flock, the commanding general of 2nd MAW. “I also want to offer a welcome to Sgt. Maj. Bellis. It is my wish that you are as successful as Sgt. Maj. Smith.”
Prior to assuming duties as 2nd MAW sergeant major, Bellis served as the sergeant major of Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif.
“I’ve got some very big shoes to fill, but I will give everything I have to the Marines and Sailors of 2nd MAW,” said Bellis. “2nd MAW will get the very best I have, and I look forward to serving with each and every one of you.”
Smith thanked the Marines for everything they do on a daily basis.
“These Marines know what they do and they do it well,” said Smith. “The general and I could not be more proud of you.”
In addition to the relief and appointment, a retirement ceremony marked the closing of a chapter in Smith’s career. Smith was presented with the Legion of Merit during the ceremony, in acknowledgement of his 30-years of service.
“If I was told to put this uniform back on to go to work on Monday morning, I would come back,” said Smith.