MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Friends and families gathered to say goodbye to Sgt. Maj. Insu Paek as he retired after 30 years of honorable service during a Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School Relief and Appointment Ceremony and Retirement Ceremony at Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field, Feb. 12, 2014.
Peak relinquished the non-commissioned officer sword to Col. Andrew Murray, commanding officer, MCCES, symbolically handing over his responsibilities as senior enlisted advisor of the school to the new sergeant major of MCCES, Sgt. Maj. Robert Sites.
“I can’t think of a better time and place to retire,” Paek said. “It is truly humbling to have everyone come out for this ceremony. I want to thank everyone for being here, and especially the students of MCCES. Some have been here more than a year, some have been here a few days. I just want to say thanks.”
Paek served in many capacities during his Marine Corps career. By trade, Paek started out as a motor transport operator. He deployed to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He later served as a recruiter in Southern California, where he was meritoriously promoted to staff sergeant.
Throughout Paek’s career, he has been an example for Marines and setting the bar of what they should aspire to be.
“Sgt. Maj. Paek has given his entire adult life to the United States Marine Corps and to our country,” Murray said. “He’s gone everywhere and done everything the Marine Corps has asked him to do without complaint and concern.”
Sites is returning to the Combat Center after serving as sergeant major of Recruiting Station Portland, Ore. Sites last served at the Combat Center with Headquarters Battalion. He expressed excitement to return to Twentynine Palms and is ready to get to work at MCCES.
“When I told my wife we were moving back to (Twentynine Palms), she was in tears, tears ... of joy,” Sites said. “This is our third time here in (Twentynine Palms) and we couldn’t be happier to be around Marines again.”