News: Passing the sword: 8th ESB receives new sergeant major
Story by Lance Cpl. Sullivan Laramie
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Marines and sailors with 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group welcomed their new sergeant major during a relief an appointment ceremony here, July 11.
First Sgt. Monroe C. Boykin, the outgoing sergeant major of the battalion, turned the Sword of Office over to Sgt. Maj. Russell A. Strack, the incoming sergeant major.
“8th ESB is as busy as any other unit in [2nd MLG], and it’s almost like a revolving door for all our key billets,” said Lt. Col. Ferdinand F. Llantero, the battalion’s commanding officer. “Whatever task we give to our Marines, there are always Marines stepping up to the plate.”
Boykin, who has been with 8th ESB for approximately three years, served as first sergeant for six companies before taking on the role of sergeant major when Sgt. Maj. John E. Bankus departed the unit in April.
“It feels like it was just three short months ago when we were doing the same thing and I was taking over as the sergeant major,” said Boykin, a native of Dayton, Ohio. “I know it wasn’t fun all the time, however [the Marines] never stopped being professionals and never stopped carrying on for the battalion and the 2nd MLG, and I appreciate that. I’m staying in the battalion and continuing to answer the call with [them].”
Strack, a 28-year veteran who has served in both Marine division and aircraft wing units, said serving as sergeant major of 8thh ESB is his first position in a Marine logistics group, and he hopes the experience will be positive.
“I hope we will be the shining star here in 2nd MLG, which is my goal,” said Strack, a Baltimore native. “For the Marines and sailors: Stand by. We have a lot of things to do and we got a lot of things accomplished. Get on my bus, it’ll be a bumpy road, but you’ll enjoy the destination.”
The addition of Strack and his experience, and retaining Boykin within the unit will hopefully continue to build 8th ESB’s efficiency wherever it is, Llantero said.
“This battalion is not going to stop,” said Llantero. “All these Marines are proud of their achievements and I’m glad I’m receiving a new piece to that pie. It’s always nice to have someone to fill the position of a senior advisor to the commanding officer.”