MAGTFTC MCAGCC, Calif. -- Sgt. Maj. Stephen W. Muller, sergeant major of Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California, relinquished his post and retired Sept. 17, 2020 during a ceremony at the Combat Center.
Muller’s replacement is Sgt. Maj. Jason R. Gillespie, the previous sergeant major of Marine Detachment, Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri.
“My wife and I have been well received by the Twentynine Palms team,” said Gillespie. “We are ready to get to work and I look forward to the greater training command mission.”
Maj. Gen. Roger B. Turner Jr., the commanding general of 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, and the previous commanding general of MAGTFTC, MCAGCC, who worked with Muller during the majority of his time as the Combat Center sergeant major, was the retiring official during the ceremony.
“We had a lot of challenges here at Twentynine Palms and it was always incredible having you by my side, always providing tremendous advice and counsel,” said Turner. “It was never about you, you always made it about your Marines and taking care of the families here which just made you genuine and authentic. I just can't thank you enough for what you've done these past 30 years.”
Muller thanked friends, colleagues and family members during the ceremony as he recapped the last 30 years of service. He thanked one person in particular that he attributed to his perseverance during his long career.
“My wife is the real deal; she is the one who kept me going all these years. There was a couple of times in my career when I was ready to get out and she’d tell me ‘you can do two more’,” said Muller. “I told her I don't know if I can go to Twentynine Palms and be separated and she'd tell me again ‘you can do two more’.”
“She is the rock and she kept this family together and for that I want to thank you and I love you so much,” Muller said.
The Relief and Appointment ceremony makes certain that the Marines of MCAGCC are not without formal senior leadership and symbolizes the passing of command from the out-going to the in-coming sergeant major.