MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- The band played and the colors were marched out as the 6th Marine Regiment sergeant major relief and appointment ceremony began here March 10.
Sgt. Maj. Bruce J. Poland served as the regimental sergeant major since October 2004 and is now moving on to Marine Forces Reserves. Sgt. Maj. Robert R. Terry is replacing Poland and is coming from 2nd Marine Division as the Inspector Sergeant Major.
“It doesn’t feel like its my time to leave, but the past 30 years have been great,” Poland explained as he spoke his fellow Marines, family and friends.
The ceremony began with a prayer given by the chaplain blessing the works done by Poland and praying for the upcoming tasks for Terry. Following the chaplains words of encouragement both Poland and Terry came forward to exchange the non-commissioned officer’s sword.
As tradition dictates, Poland gave the sword he has kept with him during his time with 6th Marines to the commanding officer, Col. George P. Garrett. Garrett then proceeded to pass on the sword to Terry, signifying the turnover of responsibility.
Garrett, Poland and Terry all came up to speak to those in attendance, thanking them for coming out to witness the end of Poland’s service with the unit and the beginning of new leadership for 6th Marines.
Following the comments, Poland was awarded a Legion of Merit for his actions over the past years as a great leader who will be remembered and talked about by many leaders to come, explained Garrett.
Garrett and Poland served together as two of the key leaders for the 2nd Marine Division (rear) as well as performing their duties for 6th Marines while the division was deployed to Iraq in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
As a new leaf turns over for the men of 6th Marine Regiment, they prepare to start another journey with a new leader. The regiment will be preparing for a future deployment as they will continue to support the war on terrorism.