News: VMM-261 receives new sergeant major
Story by Lance Cpl. Andy Orozco
NEW RIVER, N.C. - Sgt. Maj. Rickey V. Jackson relinquished the role of sergeant major for Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 261 to Sgt. Maj. Misitupa Tueichi during a relief and appointment ceremony at the VMM-261 hangar aboard Marine Corps Air Station New River, Dec. 5.
Lt. Col. Kelvin W. Gallman, VMM-261 commanding officer, addressed the audience about Jackson during the ceremony.
“Thank you for joining us here today for a sad day and a new beginning,” said Gallman. “(Sgt. Maj. Jackson’s) been a sergeant major; he’s been a friend; he’s been a father and he’s been one of those people to kick you around when you needed him to be. That’s what we are going to miss about Sgt. Maj. Jackson. I’ll miss that.”
Jackson then took the microphone to offer one last word of advice to his former commanding officer and his replacement.
“The relationship between a sergeant major and the commanding officer is like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich,” said Jackson. “You, sergeant major, you’re the jelly. Not because you are soft, but you have to constantly be moving around. Sir, you’re the peanut butter because you’re the main state; you’re the solid. If you start moving around too much you’re going to tear the bread and nobody is going to eat the peanut butter and jelly sandwich.”
Tueichi then humored Jackson’s metaphor of the sergeant major and commander relationship and addressed his commanding officer.
“That’s some good peanut butter and jelly right there,” said Tueichi. “Lt. Col. Gallman, I am really looking forward to working with you. I am a firm believer in a strong team; I hope I live up to your expectations, and I thank you for this opportunity.”
Tueichi then spoke directly to the Marines of the tiltrotor squadron and offered his thoughts on being the squadron’s newest sergeant major.
“To the Marines, you are truly the reason why I’m here,” said Tueichi. “You’re the true reason why any sergeant major is sitting here. You are our asset. I am truly honored, and I am humbled to be your sergeant major. I am definitely looking forward to working with all of you.”