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Sergeant Maj. Troy Black, the outgoing sergeant major for 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment [right]; and Sgt. Maj. Rafael Rodriguez, the oncoming sergeant major for 3/7, wait to be called to Lieutenant Colonel Seth Folsom, the battalion commanding officer for 3/7, during a Post and Relief Ceremony at Felix Field July 7, 2011.

Photo by Cpl. Andrew D. Thorburn

'Cutting Edge' welcomes new sergeant major, says farewell to Black

15 Jul 2011 | Cpl. Andrew D. Thorburn

Sergeant Maj. Rafael Rodriguez relieved Sgt. Maj. Troy Black as the sergeant major of 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment during a Post and Relief ceremony at Felix Field July 7, 2011.

The Marines and sailors with the Cutting Edge formed up into their companies on Felix Field to witness the exchange of the noncommissioned officer’s sword, signifying the passing of leadership from Black to Rodriguez.

Rodriguez, who just graduated from the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy in Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas, spoke of his excitement at being stationed with the unit.

“I am extremely happy and excited to be a part of this battalion [and] the rich tradition in it,” said Rodriguez, a native of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. “I am looking forward to leading this battalion along with Lt. Col. [Seth] Folsom, [the battalion commanding officer.]”

With the responsibilities and duties passed on to Rodriguez, Black knew from his two years with the battalion that what made them great under him will continue under Rodriguez’s leadership.

“[It was the] leadership in the Marines, great officers, great staff NCOs and the leadership dedication in the NCOs and below that really made the battalion successful for the past two years,” Black said.

Rodriguez said that focusing on leadership will be the focus of his time here as well.

“I am all about brilliance at the basics, the basic foundation that has made Marines successful throughout our whole history,” he said.

Black only asked one thing of Rodriguez as he steps in to take his place as the new sergeant major of 3/7.

“Never let the Marines down,” he said.

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