MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- MCLB Albany personnel welcomed a new sergeant major here July 17.
With fewer than four days on board, Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Waltz, attended a professional military education meeting for all noncommissioned officers. He addressed many enlisted issues and concerns about the everyday lives of Marines during the PME.
Waltz spoke to the NCOs from years of experience. He began his Marine Corps career in August 1973.
Since that time, Waltz has been stationed at every major Marine Corps installation, including Camp Lejeune, Camp Pendleton and Okinawa, as well as smaller installations.
His leadership experience is extensive. He has served as a squad leader, section leader, platoon sergeant, platoon commander, company gunnery sergeant, first sergeant and sergeant major.
In addition to his experience in the Fleet Marine Force, Waltz has also completed special assignment as a Marine Security Guard at the American Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, as a drill instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Calif., and as a recruiter and recruiting noncommissioned-officer-in-charge in Oregon.
While serving as a drill instructor he became senior drill instructor for Kilo Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, and later attained the title of drill master.
After serving as a drill instructor, Waltz served in a special billet as the Assistant Marine Officer Instructor at Duke University in Durham, N.C.
Since 1996, Waltz has served with the Inspector-Instructor Staff. He first served with Bravo Company, 8th Tank Battalion, Syracuse, N.Y.
Upon selection for sergeant major, he was reassigned to the Inspector-Instructor Staff, 2d Battalion, 25th Marines, Garden City, N.Y.
He served as sergeant major of 2d Battalion, 25th Marines from August 1997 to June 2000, when he assumed duties as sergeant major of Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Ga.
Waltz admits that his experience is primarily with field units, but said he is looking forward to his time here. He believes MCLB Albany is one of the Marine Corps best kept secrets.
Having just come from up around New York City, the pace here is a little slower, said Waltz. Its a little more peaceful, people are more friendly and its a lot warmer.
According to Waltz, one of the best things about MCLB Albany is the small number of Marines.
You get to meet and know a lot more Marines on a base like Albany than you would if you were part of a division up at Camp Lejeune, said Waltz.
The Marines are all under one umbrella - Headquarters Battalion. Albany is also very centralized and convenient. Everything is close together. This base seems like its very close.
Im a country boy at heart, said Waltz. I enjoy the friendlier, slower pace that Albany has to offer.
Waltz brings to Albany not only his leadership skills and years of experience, but also a wife of 21 years, Laurie, his son Kiel, 16 and his daughter, Jilliane, 18. Waltz met his wife when he was a sergeant serving at Camp Pendleton.
Sticking by me for this much time, through all the moves and all the duty stations, is something Im really grateful for, said Waltz. It can be pretty rough on the kids and the family. It takes a lot on her part. Shes really rare and special.
Waltz wants to let Marines know that, although many people join the Marine Corps for a job, it is much more. Marines must always be ready to go anywhere at any time.
He emphasized the importance to junior Marines of having a senior NCO to look up to and to lead them.
It is important to lead and inspire, said Waltz. Motivation is infectious. If you have a motivational attitude and you work hard, then good things will happen.