MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
The marquees aboard Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point read goodbye and welcome as 2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion said farewell to Sgt. Maj. William O. Mayo and welcomed Sgt. Maj. Robert P. Palechek during the unit’s relief and appointment ceremony held at Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252’s hangar Jan. 21.
“I am looking to improve on the well-oiled machine that Mayo has already built here with 2nd LAAD,” said Palechek. “2nd LAAD is in a class of its own, and it shows a great credit to Mayo.”
Palechek came to 2nd LAAD after serving with Combat Logistics Battalion 1 at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Mayo will be stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, Japan.
“Even though I’m leaving, I will always remember one big thing about the premier grunts of the air wing and that is the mentality of the Marines for mission accomplishment,” said Mayo. “My greatest memory of 2nd LAAD will be the dedication these Marines show.”
Mayo served as the sergeant major of 2nd LAAD for more than two years.
“Although I have only been serving with 2nd LAAD for a few short months, I have noticed the effects that Mayo has had on the unit,” said Lt. Col. Joel A. Burdette, the commanding officer of 2nd LAAD Bn. “He has helped me learn about the unit and has inspired me to do my best with helping this unit thrive.”
Mayo said he has learned more from the Marines he commanded than he feels they learned from him.
“I am looking forward to learning from the Marines of 2nd LAAD,” said Palechek. “I respect Sgt. Maj. Mayo a lot. He has turned this unit into the premier battalion, and I expect this machine to keep performing as well as it has in the past both on duty and off.”