News: 26th MEU Marines say farewell to Sgt. Maj. Parisi
Story by Lance Cpl. Joshua Brown
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – Sgt. Maj. Todd M. Parisi relinquished his duties as the sergeant major of 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) to Sgt. Maj. Scott M. Schmitt at a relief and appointment ceremony at the unit’s command post aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune on May 9, 2014.
Parisi is retiring from the Marine Corps after 28 years of active duty service. Parisi’s awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (with gold star in lieu of second award), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (with three gold stars in lieu of fourth award), the Military Outstanding volunteer Service Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon. He was the senior enlisted advisor to the commanding officer of the 26th MEU during Hurricane Sandy relief efforts and through its nine-month deployment to the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility in 2013.
“I’ve decided to retire from here, because I’ve decided it simply cannot get better than this,” said Parisi. “I’d love to wish Sgt. Maj. Schmitt good luck, but he doesn’t need it, because he has what it takes to be perfect for this job and show love and concern for these (the 26th MEU’s) Marines and sailors.”
Schmitt's previous assignment was at 2nd Maintenance Battalion, located at Camp Lejeune, N.C., where he served as battalion sergeant major from 2012 to 2014. Schmitt’s awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with one gold star, the Combat action Ribbon, Recruiting Ribbon, and the Presidential Service Badge.
Schmitt said, “My main goal is to integrate into the environment, continue to hold the MEU to the high standards Sgt. Maj. Parisi set in place, and foster the Marines toward success.”
After the ceremony, the 26th MEU Family Readiness Officer and Military Family Life Counselor hosted a barbecue to celebrate Parisi’s retirement and welcome Schmitt to the 26th MEU family.