Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune --
Sergeant Maj. Carl Green relinquished his post as sergeant major of II Marine Expeditionary Force to Sgt. Maj. Robert G. VanOostrom during a ceremony in front of the MEF Headquarters Building at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Mar. 30.
Many members of Green’s family, including his wife Zelda, their son and two daughters, were in attendance. Carlton Kent, the 16th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, along with many other sergeants major, both retired and currently serving, were also present for the ceremony.
Green, who has been the sergeant major of II MEF since July 2009, served for 34 years in the Marine Corps. Thirteen of those 34 years have been as a sergeant major. In addition to deploying overseas numerous times, Green has served as a drill instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C. and has been assigned to all three MEF’s.
“(Green) has served in every leg of the MAGTF (Marine Air-Ground Task Force),” said Lt. Gen. John M. Paxton Jr., commanding general of II MEF. “He has indentified young leaders, molded and trained young leaders and provided sage counsel for senior leaders, not only for his entire tour, but particularly for the last 13 years.”
During the ceremony, Green acknowledged all of the leaders he has had throughout his career and how they influenced him as he rose through the ranks.
“If I could leave you with one thing it would be, ‘Never forget where you came from and how you got there,’” said Green.
Green’s replacement, VanOostrom, recently served as sergeant major of Marine Corps Installations East from Aug. 2009 to Mar. 2012.
“To the 57,000 Marines (of II MEF), know that I come committed everyday to do what Sergeant Major Barret says as he goes out and about,” said VanOostrom. “We are going to demand of you to bring your ‘A Game’ then your leaders have to be prepared to bring theirs as well and I’m committed to do that.”
During the ceremony, Green was also awarded the Legion of Merit for his superior service. He will be retiring from the Marine Corps Later this year.