MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. (June 9, 2011) --
The rank of sergeant major is one of great responsibility. One is often responsible for the well being of thousands of enlisted personnel. Its seriousness cannot be overstated. The weight of their duty is why hundreds of Marines from Marine Air Control Group 28 gathered to watch one relinquish his post and the other take her place as their senior enlisted leader.
Sgt. Maj. Michael T. Sator relinquished his post at MACG-28 to Sgt. Maj. Lisa K. Nilsson on the Marine Air Control Squadron 2 parade field June 3.
After 41 months with MACG-28, Sator came to know the Marines at MACG-28 and described them as heroes.
“I truly believe that there are Americans and there are great Americans,” said Sator. “The Marines and Sailors are great Americans. As volunteers, they don’t have to do what they do; they do it to defend this country.”
During Sator’s tenure, he also won the admiration of many of his Marines.
“He was a very good sergeant major and very motivational,” said Cpl. Alexander T. O’Sullivan, a tactical air operations module technician for MACS-2. “He takes his job very seriously. He’s very passionate about what he does. Every time I’ve been around when he’s talking with Marines, he gives a very positive attitude and doesn’t dilly dally about what’s going on. He gets it done and gets it done right.”
Sator said that Nilsson will get it done right as well.
“The role of sergeant major is to take care of your young ones, mentor everyone up and down the ranks to include officers, and be like a big dad to everyone,” said Sator. “Nobody is more suited to take over than Sgt. Maj. Nilsson. She will do great things.”
Nilsson has taken on great responsibilities in the past, having served as a drill instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and Officer Candidates School; as well as being the sergeant major of two previous battalion sized commands.
“I am the enlisted advisor for the commanding officer,” said Nilsson. “It entails everything that happens in the control group. I talk to the Marines, I find out what their issues are and I take it to the commanding officer, hopefully to come up with a solution to make their life better. I’m looking forward to being with the wing.”