MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Marines
with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment
, welcomed their new battalion sergeant major, Sgt. Maj. Eric W. Rummel, and bid farewell to Sgt. Maj. Matthew B. Brookshire during a post and relief ceremony Dec. 4 at the Combat Center
’s Sunset Cinema.
Members of the 1st Marine Division Association were also present to show their support for Rummel, and say goodbye to Brookshire.
During his time with 2nd Bn., 7th Marines, Brookshire, a Waynesville, N. C., native, participated in the battalion’s historic deployment to Afghanistan in April 2008. Their deployment marked the first time a battalion-sized Marine unit deployed to the country since the escalation of the War on Terror in 2003.
“For eight months [in Afghanistan] we fought with courage, we fought with valor and we fought with bravery,” Brookshire said to the battalion during the ceremony. “You are the ones who made Afghanistan a better place. This [battalion] will be the highlight of my career—all of you are my heroes.”
The battalion’s commanding officer, Lt. Col. John Reed, also played a role in the ceremony, and praised both sergeants major, saying how much he enjoyed working with them.
Reed said Afghanistan made him want Brookshire to stay with 2nd Bn., 7th Marines, “but when I heard he was going to a higher command, I asked one question: Can I have Sgt. Maj. Rummel stand beside me?
“I’m happy because I’m getting everything I want,” he said jokingly to the battalion.
Rummel, who was promoted to sergeant major hours before the ceremony, was serving as the first sergeant for Co. F, 2nd Bn., 7th Marines.
“I look forward to serving as the battalion sergeant major,” said Rummel, an Oakely, Kansas native. “That is my mission—to be this battalion’s sergeant major and work for you.”
Reed said having Rummel take charge as the sergeant major will give 2nd Bn., 7th Marines a head start since Rummel is already familiar with and has a good working relationship with the battalion’s chain of command.