MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS -- Sgt. Maj. Avery L. Crespin was appointed sergeant major of Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 1 at Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field, April 2, 2015, succeeding Master Sgt. Abelardo Platas.
Platas was the operations chief prior to becoming the senior enlisted advisor of VMU-1 May 15, 2014. He filled the position for 10 months in place of a sergeant major that was yet to be identified.
“I enjoyed getting to know the Marines a little bit more, being able to talk with them and mentor those who crossed my path,” Platas said.
The appointment ceremony began with the Marines and sailors of VMU-1 marching onto the field. After the colors were presented by the unit’s color guard, and the national anthem was played, the Marines conducted drill movements for the audience.
“I was in a similar position before as senior enlisted advisor with VMU-4 in Arizona, but being here was a bit more unique,” Platas said. “Fortunately, I have been surrounded by a lot of personnel and sergeants major who were just a phone call away whenever I needed them.”
The climax of the ceremony was the passing of the non-commissioned officer sword from Lt. Col. Kain C. Anderson, commanding officer, VMU-1 to Crespin signifying the passing of responsibility. The sword represents a facet of military tradition and is entrusted to those who are responsible for maintaining it.
Prior to being appointed sergeant major of VMU-1, Crespin was the senior enlisted advisor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego.
“I’m hoping to bring my perspective on leadership to VMU-1,” Crespin said. “I’m looking forward to taking care of Marines and helping them achieve their goals. I’m back in the operational tempo of things and now it’s all about combat readiness.”
Platas is set to report to Fort Huachuaca, Sierra Vista, Az. to take command as the senior enlisted advisor for Marine Aviation Training Support Group 22.
“I’m excited for the new sergeant major,” Platas said. “He’s bringing a lot to the table and I think it will definitely benefit the squadron to have him as their [leader].”