News: A bid farewell to Sgt. Maj. Brown, welcome to Sgt. Maj. Massi
Story by Pfc. David Walters
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan - Sergeant Major Steven L. Brown relinquished his post as Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni sergeant major to Sgt. Maj. Keith Massi during a relief and appointment ceremony at the parade deck here July 12, 2013.
In May of 2011, Brown reported aboard station to fulfill his duty as the station sergeant major.
Brown retired after 26 years of honorable and faithful service. At the end of the ceremony, Brown spoke of the love he has towards his family and friends, and the unconditional love and support his family showed him throughout the years.
“I know you guys have sacrificed a lot more in more ways than I have,” said Brown. “I sure appreciate that.”
Brown scanned the crowd, looked for friendly faces, and thanked those who helped or inspired him throughout his time here.
Colonel James C. Stewart, previous station commanding officer who also relinquished his duty in the ceremony prior, worked closely with Brown through their years aboard station. Stewart spoke of Brown in a heartfelt manner which explained, from his point of view, what Brown’s presence added to the station.
“Sergeant Major Brown, it’s going to be a loss,” said Stewart. “A loss to the Marine Corps, and a loss to Air Station Iwakuni as you depart the active duty ranks. Throughout his career and as long as I have known him, he has been focused on leading Marines, taking care of Marines and family, both professionally and personally.”
Massi is taking on a new challenge as this is his first time tackling the duty and learning the role as a military installation sergeant major.
“I promise you, if you give me some time to fill Sergeant Major Brown’s boots, which is going to be a hard thing to do or if I don’t do anything or find something for you, please let me know what I’m supposed to be doing for you,” said Massi.
Massi enlisted in December 1988, and graduated from Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C. He then continued to Marine Corps Artillery Detachment Fort Sill, Okla., where he graduated as the Honor Graduate of his class and obtained the primary military occupational specialty of Marine Artillery Fire Directional Controlman.
Throughout the years, Massi supported Operations: Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Desert Thunder, Safe Departure, Determined Response, Iraqi Freedom and humanitarian relief operations.
Massi, who brings 25 years of Marine Corps experience to the table, concluded the ceremony to carry out his duty as the air station’s sergeant major.