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Headquarters Group East appoints its first sergeant major

4 Nov 2010 | Jason M. Webb, Public Affairs Specialist

Marines and civilian-Marines from Marine Corps Logistics Command witnessed a historic moment Friday, when Headquarters Group East appointed its first sergeant major.

Sgt. Maj. Conrad E. Potts assumed the position after taking the noncommissioned officer’s sword of office from Col. Terry V. Reid, commander, Maintenance Center Albany, LOGCOM, in a ceremony at Schmid Field.

Potts fills the position of sergeant major for both Headquarters Group East and MCA.

After handing over the NCOsword to Potts, Reid spoke.

“This is a historic event today. This is the first time that we have had a sergeant major here at Headquarters Group East,” Reid said. “My command philosophy is about mission readiness, family readiness and community relations. I know that with your experience and background you will serve us well here at Maintenance Center Albany as we repair, rebuild and modify all Marine Corps ground and combat support equipment.

“Your experience will be a welcome addition to the staff. We appreciate all the experience you bring,” he added

Potts brings with him more than 29 years experience as a Marine. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant major in 2005 and has served with both Marine Corps ground and air combat units.

“When I first saw the sign outside the maintenance center, which read, ‘What you do is important, everyday a Marine’s life depends on it,’ I connected to that,” Potts said. “It’s about taking care of Marines and their families, especially as a sergeant major, because that’s what we do. It’s an awesome privilege to be here today.”

Reid said Potts was the right choice for the dual-hatted job as both sergeant major for Headquarters Group East and MCA. He said Potts embodied what he looked for when searching for a sergeant major.

“When I think of sergeants major I think about mental and physical toughness. I think about the ability to handle multiple tasks, and most importantly I think about the ability to give sage advice and counsel to all ranks,” Reid said. “Your reputation precedes you. We have studied you. A lot of people have talked about the great things in the past, and I know it’s going to serve our Marines and civilian-Marines well.”

As the first sergeant major of MCA and Hqtrs Group East, Potts is not only the senior enlisted Marine for Hqtrs Group East, but supports the civilian-Marine workforce at MCA.

“Sir, I bought in from the moment I saw the sign, especially from the time I met you. I truly look forward to serving you, the Marines and civilians of this community,” Potts said.

Reid explained the significance of MCA’s first sergeant major.

“The sergeant major serves as the unit commander’s senior enlisted advisor and handles matters of discipline and morale among enlisted Marines,” he said. “Having a sergeant major here at Headquarters Group East, Marine Corps Logistics Command, and Maintenance Center Albany will give the command that senior level enlisted advisement that we have been missing at the command.”

“Prior to the establishment of a sergeant major billet here at Maintenance Center Albany, the Marines here at Marine Corps Logistics Command did not have a sergeant major in their chain of command until they reached the commanding general’s level.

“Now we have a senior enlisted advisor whose knowledge and experience can help shape careers by providing advisement and counsel that may prevent a lot of grief,” he said.

As MCA sergeant major, Potts will be called upon to be a liaison between MCA and its entities, according to Reid.

“He will help us to better understand the needs of our customers to help ensure they are provided with simply the best equipment available,” Reid said. “Sergeant Major Potts comes to us with a tremendous reputation for candid advisement and a genuine concern for troop welfare. His impact is already being felt as he goes about doing what only sergeants major can, being the eyes, ears and the voice of the commander.”

Potts previously served as sergeant major of 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center 29 Palms, Calif., until Sept. 2.

Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany