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Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
MatCom Sergeant Major posted Friday;

By Sgt. Joshua Bozeman | | January 16, 2003

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The tradition of regularly changing military authority continued Friday at Schmidt Field when one sergeant major retired and another took up the reins.

Sgt. Maj. Cassian Porcha replaced Sgt. Maj. Charles Tonn as the MatCom Sergeant Major in a post and relief ceremony which doubled as Tonn's retirement ceremony.

Porcha arrived at MatCom from the Marine Aircraft Group 14 of Cherry Point N.C., where he served as the group sergeant major. He entered the Corps in 1975 and attended boot camp at Parris Island, S.C. Porcha also participated in a variety of duties, including a sergeant instructor and a Water Safety Survival Instructor at Officer Candidate School, a guard noncommissioned officer at Guantanamo Bay Cuba and a drill instructor at Parris Island.

When Porcha was handed the microphone to say a few words at the ceremony, he did just that -- he only said a few. He emphasized that he is excited to be here and looks forward to getting started with his new assignment.

"I know I have a big task ahead, following Sgt. Maj. Tonn and the job that he did," said Porcha. "There are more civilians than Marines and that's a difference for me coming from the fleet. I'm looking forward to working with them and finding what they do and the services they provide to the fleet."

The success of many of Porcha's former duties are expressed partly by his personal decorations, which include: the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon.

Maj. Gen. Bradley M. Lott oversaw the passing of the mantle from one sergeant major to the other.

The afternoon ceremony was scheduled for earlier that day but was rescheduled due to the weather. According to Lott, the only reassurance they had that it wasn't going to rain was the sergeant major said so. And as the sun shone down through clear skies, that proved to be more than enough.

Lott said he is grateful for the privilege of serving with Tonn and looks forward to working with Porcha.

Tonn served in the Marine Corps 30 years; service that included an array of duties which ranged from recruiting to combat missions.

Tonn plans to move to his new house in Seabring, Fla., and spend time with his family.

Most of the day's remarks were made by Tonn, who thanked various individuals for coming to the ceremony and spoke about his career and some of the things he has learned through his experiences. He also thanked the Marines standing in formation for their hard work.



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