MARINE COPRS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Sergeant Maj. Bryan K. Zickefoose, of Omaha, Neb., replaced Clinton, N.C., native Sgt. Maj. Michael F. Jones as the 2nd Marine Division sergeant major during the 2nd Marine Division Relief and Appointment ceremony April 27.
Jones will now move on to Marine Forces Command, after serving as the division sergeant major since March 28, 2008, while Zickefoose joins the unit from the West Coast after a recent deployment to Helmand province, Afghanistan, with 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.
Jones said he is very proud of the division’s Marines and sailors for the way they have conducted themselves throughout the past four years.
“There are about 24,000 Marines and sailors in the 2nd Marine Division. To get out and watch them learn and grow and develop in to fighting men, fighting women, and to execute the mission across the spectrum of (Marine Air-Ground Task Force) operations has probably been the most exciting thing,” said Jones. “(I have) a sense of pride to see the legacy that’s coming behind us as Marines and watching them grow.”
Jones leaves the responsibilities as division sergeant major in good hands with Zickefoose, who comes from 1st Marine Regiment.
“I couldn’t be happier (about Zickefoose coming in). He is a fantastic sergeant major,” said Jones. "He’s going to continue all the great things about the 2nd Marine Division – all the great things that I had a hand in, he is going to carry forward and exceed.”
Major General John A. Toolan Jr., the 2nd Marine Division commanding general and a Brooklyn, N.Y., native, presented Jones the Legion of Merit during the ceremony, awarded to those who have distinguished themselves through exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service.
Zickefoose said he looks to continue the division’s outstanding leadership. He assured the Marines and sailors at the ceremony he would do everything he could to support them and keep them sharp.
“In everything I do, I will support you – guaranteed,” said Zickefoose. “I’m here for you. I want you to remember one thing: iron sharpens iron as one man sharpens another. You keep me sharp, and I’ll definitely keep you sharp.”
Jones encourages the Marines and sailors to continue upholding the legacy and reputation of 2nd Marine Division under their new enlisted leader.
“Just carry our legacy forward,” said Jones. “Understand people are watching; they’re listening, and the individual Marine, the individual sailor is the ‘Follow Me’ division.”