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Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 3 welcomed their new sergeant major during a post and relief ceremony at Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray field June 25, bidding fare well to Sgt. Maj. James L. Johnson.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Lauren A. Kurkimilis

VMU-3 welcomes new sergeant major

28 Jun 2013 | Lance Cpl. Lauren Kurkimilis

Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 3 welcomed their new sergeant major during a post and relief ceremony at Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray field June 25, bidding fare well to Sgt. Maj. James L. Johnson.

“I consider myself to be a truly blessed man,” said Sgt. Maj. Christopher W. Nagle. “I am honored to serve here with every Marine, sailor and civilian in this squadron.”

It was 85 degrees, a mild summer morning, at the parade deck when the non-commissioned officer’s sword was handed to Nagle, signifying the transition in responsibility. Johnson, Nagle and the unit’s commander, Lt. Col. John D. Thurman, addressed the crowd during the ceremony.

“It’s been amazing working with you all,” Johnson said. “You can achieve nothing but greatness and you all have proven that by being the 2012 Commandant of the Marine Corps’ Aviation Squadron of the year, which is no small feat for a squadron that doesn’t actually put a pilot in the airplane.”

Thurman commended Johnson for his and his wife’s dedication to the unit over the past 30 months and extended a warm and appreciative welcome to Nagle.

“Sgt. Maj. Nagle, I want to say, ‘Thank you very much for coming out here and choosing this duty post in Twentynine Palms,’” Thurman said. “In the past two weeks, Sgt. Maj. Nagle has shown a level of energy that can hardly be matched by most Marines. He is absolutely enthusiastic and if you can keep that energy level up over the next couple of years, I think we’re going to do some great things.”

Before being appointed to VMU-3, Nagle served at The Basic School since May of 2012 as the Instructor Battalion sergeant major. Before that, then 1st Sgt. Nagle was assigned to Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School.

“I walked in the door, not really knowing what to expect,” Nagle said. “What I was immediately impressed with was the respect and dignity that each Marine shows each other. When I look at the morale, esprit de corps and discipline in this unit, I attribute it to one man and that’s Sgt. Maj. Johnson. ”

Before serving as VMU-3 sergeant major, then 1st Sgt. Johnson, was assigned to Marine Corps Embassy Security Group as the Region-3 first sergeant in Bangkok, Thailand, and was deployed from September 2007 to April 2008 with 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, serving as Company C first sergeant.  

Johnson said it was an honor to serve as a leader of VMU-3, and he’s leaving with a sense of pride in knowing the unit will continue to succeed in all it does.
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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms