MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga -- Sergeant Maj. John T. Estrada, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, visited here Dec. 1 to introduce himself and to speak to his Marines.
Estrada, the 15th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, relieved Sgt. Maj. Alford L. McMichael this past June, and has since been touring Marine Corps bases worldwide.
Battling the affects of a flu shot, Estrada delivered three briefs thoughout the day. During the briefs he spoke on things such as leadership, safety and Marines being accountable for their actions.
"The main purpose behind this visit was to meet my Marines and see what Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany is all about," Estrada said. "I didn't know too much about Albany's role, but this morning, I walked around to different shops, and by talking to Marines and seeing what they do, it has helped me understand how big the part that this base plays in our Corps' success."
This new understanding was evident as the Sgt. Maj. spoke to his Marines," said Lance Cpl. Joseph D. Bobb. legal assistance clerk, Staff Judge Advocate Office, Headquarters Battalion. "Sgt. Maj. Estrada was very professional but down to earth in the same respect. He spoke to the Marines about current situations in the Marine Corps and also about future events that may affect them."
Many concerns, including Marines going back to Iraq, were brought to Estrada's attention.
According to Estrada, the Marine Corps is just where it needs to be. It has just the right amount of Marines and equipment to lead them into war. He also mentioned that Marines who didn't go to Iraq the first time around, may by blessed with a second chance.
"The brief let us know first hand what to expect and brought us back to the reality that at any day we may get that call to go to Iraq," said Gunnery Sgt. Darryll E. Reynolds, motor transport inspector, Technical Assistance, Material Command. "This let us know that MCLB Albany is not excluded from the equation, and all the years of training and preparation we have had will be put into action."
Estrada's visit had a positive impact on the base. For some Marines it built moral.
Cpl. Leonard B. Smith, telephone technician, Material Command was one who was motivated by Estrada's visit. It was a once in a lifetime experience when he found himself standing tall in front of the Sergeant Major.
"I was startled when I was called up in front of everyone. I thought I had been in some type of trouble," Smith said. "A promotion warrant was being read and it was for me. My noncommissioned officer's name came up with the idea of asking Sgt. Maj. Estrada to promote me. I was shaking when Sgt. Maj. pinned me a corporal of Marines. I am honored and will never forget that day. Who can actually say that they were pinned by the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps?"
During his time here Estrada sent out a very strong message, that leadership is the key to success in the Marine Corps. Good leadership wins wars. Senior Marines should mentor the younger marines and show good leadership; let them pass on the tradition of success in the Corps, and hold them accountable for their actions when they mess up.
"My visit here was very much enjoyed," Estrada said. "I am leaving MCLB Albany with an idea of what goes on here. Marines here are often over looked, but their contributions are appreciated. The Corps could not be as successful as it is today without the Marines' and civilian employee's support and leadership."