Hundreds of Marines, sailors and loved ones gathered in the stands of the Commanding General’s lawn, September 29, 2017, to watch as Sgt. Maj. Avery L. Crespin, sergeant major, Headquarters Battalion, delivered a heartfelt speech about his 22 years of service in the Corps and the lasting impact his time in service will have as he embarks on the next chapter of his life.
Crespin enlisted in the Corps in March 1995 and underwent recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Calif. More than two decades of active duty service provided Crespin the opportunity to serve in a multitude of billets, units and military occupational specialties, to include time spent as a Marine Security Guard.
During his time on MSG duty, Crespin served at MSG Detachments Islamabad, Pakistan, Caracas and Venezuela. During his tour in Pakistan, Crespin aided in the evacuation of all non-essential American personnel on two occasions due to embassy bombings in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Nairobi, Kenya and various known threats in the region.
During his retirement ceremony, Sgt. Maj. Crespin received a meritorious service medal for his time in service. Lt. Col. Michael Cable, commanding officer, Headquarters Battalion, and a close friend of Crespin spoke during the ceremony. At the end of the service, Crespin delivered a speech that addressed topics such as his time in service and the people who helped and motivated him along the way.
“As I look out at all of you, I can’t help but feel as if God is winking at me,” Crespin said. “He has shown me that I have done something right and good. I have been, and continue to be, blessed by all of your love, friendship and camaraderie. For that, I am truly grateful, even if some of you are here to ensure that I’m actually leaving.”
The last line drew laughter from the crowd and, by the end of the speech, tears were shed. Many were sad to see Crespin leave, as he served as a role model and mentor to many Marines aboard the Combat Center.
“I just want to say thank you to all of you, and to let you know how grateful and lucky I was to have worked with and known all of you,” Crespin said. “For the past 22 years, the Marine Corps has been a huge part of my life. The lessons I have learned and people I have met have helped shape me into who I am today. Thank you to each of you for making me a better person and Marine.”