MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s highest enlisted Marine relinquished authority to his successor in a Relief and Appointment ceremony at Schmid Field here, Friday.
Sgt. Maj. Stephen A. Thomas relieved Sgt. Maj. Scott C. Mykoo of his post in front of more than 200 Marines, civilian-Marines, community dignitaries, friends and their families.
Thomas’ last assignment was with 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Mykoo will serve as the senior enlisted advisor for Combined Joint Task Force in the Horn of Africa beginning in September.
In a symbolic transfer of senior staff noncommissioned officer authority, Col. Terry V. Williams, commanding officer, MCLB Albany, took a noncommissioned officer’s sword from Mykoo and handed it to Thomas, his new senior enlisted advisor.
Williams said he looked forward to serving with him.
“Before I even knew who would replace Sergeant Major Mykoo, I was getting word about this great sergeant major, Sergeant Major Thomas,” he said. “He comes to us by way of having a lot of experience and a great portfolio. I look forward, and the base looks forward, to working with you. I am excited about it. We will take this command to the next level. Welcome aboard.”
Thomas acknowledged and thanked his family and guests who attended the Relief and Appointment ceremony.
He also thanked Williams for the opportunity to serve as the base sergeant major.
“I look forward to the challenges here and I am excited about the post. Our base supports the warfighter and we have a great work force here,” Thomas said. “I hope to build on what he (Mykoo) has done and make it even better.”
Williams praised Mykoo’s achievements and characterized him as an outstanding sergeant major and an example all Marines should strive to follow.
“We owe you a debt not just here on the base side but across the installation and within the community for a job well done,” Williams said. “My hat’s off to you, and thank you. You are the best.”
Williams said he relied on Mykoo’s extensive knowledge, experience and leadership.
“He was involved in every aspect of the command from making decisions on civilian placements to disciplining Marines,” he said.
Mykoo, who has served as MCLB Albany sergeant major since July 2008, considered his new position as his “dream assignment.”
“This is a great opportunity for the sergeant major and a great opportunity for the Marine Corps because he will show, across the spectrum of services, exactly what he is made of and what the Marines are made of,” Williams said.
In describing his more than two years here of taking care of Marines, civilian-Marines and their families Mykoo quoted the United States’ first president George Washington.
“(Washington said), ‘Being prepared for war is the most effective means of preserving peace,’” Mykoo said. “I believe what he meant by that is what we deal with on a daily basis today. This is what we do. We prepare and keep our Marines physically fit to answer the nation’s call. We are America’s 911 force, and when they call, we have to be ready to go forward.”
Recently, Mykoo said, several people asked him why, in his 29th year of service, he accepted his new assignment knowing it was a one-year restricted tour.
“I want more responsibility and I have the opportunity to represent the Marine Corps and our nation,” he said.
Mykoo added he will miss the friendships he built in the last two years, but he is ready for a new duty.
“I am humbled by my new position and I am confident I am ready for this position,” he said. “I will represent the Marine Corps well and I will represent the United States of America, the country I love.
Mykoo also thanked his family and his wife, Mayra, of 28 years for their continuous support.
“I have done the service, but you have made the sacrifice,” he said. “I have missed many birthdays, anniversaries, special events and holidays over the years. You have put up with me and I thank you for it.”
Mykoo welcomed his successor.
“I know you will do great things and I know you are ready for the job. I wish you all the best. I know the Marines are in good hands and thank you for all you are going to do,” he said.