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Sgt. Maj. Harrison L. Tanksley, the new sergeant major of the Combat Center, reports to Brig. Gen. H. Stacy Clardy III, the commanding general of the installation. Tanksley replaced Sgt. Maj. Susan M. Bellis during a post and relief ceremony at Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field Feb. 12.

Photo by Lance Cpl. M. C. Nerl

Combat Center welcomes new sergeant major, bids Bellis farewell

18 Feb 2010 | Lance Cpl. M. C. Nerl

Sgt. Maj. Harrison L. Tanksley replaced Sgt. Maj. Susan M. Bellis as the Combat Center’s sergeant major during a post and relief ceremony at Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field Feb. 12.

The ceremony took place to honor Bellis for her service here, and to welcome Tanksley, who previously served as the sergeant major for Combat Logistics Regiment 15, at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.

“It’s wonderful to be home,” said the Thomson, Ga., native. “I spent time here as the sergeant major of [3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment] and as a first sergeant for Echo Company, 2/7and in Bravo Company, [Marine Corps Communications-Electronics School] from 2001 to 2006.”

Tanksley said he intends to continue the trend of professionalism and service Bellis was known for during her tenure here.

“I’m going to continue where Sgt. Maj. Bellis left off,” he said. “No one cares more than her about her Marines.

“All I require of the Marines and sailors of the base is they give the same support they gave Sgt. Maj. Bellis,” he said. “I want to make the Combat Center the best base in the Marine Corps.”

Bellis, who served as the Combat Center sergeant major for nearly two years, will head to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., to serve as the senior enlisted member of 2nd Marine Air Wing. She said she enjoyed her time here.

“Thank you to everyone associated with the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center for what you do every day,” she said. “I’ll be enjoying doing the very best I can for my new commanding general and the Marines, sailors and their families.”

Brig. Gen. H. Stacy Clardy III, the commanding general of the installation, offered his thanks and best wishes to the incoming and outgoing sergeants major.

“I’d like to thank Sgt. Maj. Bellis for her professionalism and for never being satisfied with the status quo,” the Pawleys Island, S.C., native said. “I would also like to wish her my blessings as she moves to work for a two-star general at the MAW.

“And I would also like to welcome the Tanksley family back to the Combat Center,” he added.

Tanksley said he is proud to return to the Combat Center as its senior enlisted Marine, and hopes to continue improving the installation.

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