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    Upholding Tradition and Excellence: The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit Sergeant Major Relief and Appointment

    Continuing the Legacy: 26th MEU(SOC) Command Element Relief and Appointment

    Photo By Sgt. Nayelly Nieves-Nieves | U.S. Marine Corps Col. Dennis W. Sampson (left), the commanding officer for the 26th...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Nayelly Nieves-Nieves 

    26th Marine Expeditionary Unit     

    CAMP LEJEUNE – Transition of leadership is not just a routine event; it's a significant moment symbolizing continuity, excellence, and the passing of the torch of responsibility. Such transitions are particularly notable when it involves the position of Sergeant Major. Recently, the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) (MEU(SOC)) witnessed a change in its Sergeant Major, marking a momentous occasion steeped in tradition and the pursuit of excellence.

    U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. James Horr, who previously held the position of the Sergeant Major of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), officially handed over his responsibilities during a formal relief and appointment ceremony to U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Christopher Taylor on Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Apr. 19, 2024. This ceremonial event marked the conclusion of Horr's tenure in his valued role.

    Horr is transitioning to assume the responsibilities as Sergeant Major for the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), headquartered at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, San Diego, California.

    “I couldn’t be prouder of the performance of this team over the course of pre-deployment training and their deployment,” said Horr. “Through multiple extensions and uncertainty, the Marines and Sailors’ focus and determination never wavered. I’m super proud of everything this unit has accomplished. There’s no doubt about it, the Marines and Sailors of the 26th MEU(SOC) have been the ones in the arena and it’s been my privilege to be a part of this unit.”

    The Sergeant Major serves as the principal advisor to the commanding officer on all matters concerning enlisted personnel, their training, welfare, morale, and conduct. They are the embodiment of the Marine Corps' core values and are tasked with upholding the highest standards of professionalism and performance within the unit. As such, the selection and transition of a new Sergeant Major are critical processes that demand careful consideration and adherence to established protocols.

    The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, known for its storied history and operational prowess, has consistently demonstrated its commitment to warfighting excellence in every mission it undertakes. Whether deployed in combat zones, humanitarian relief efforts, or training exercises, the 26th MEU earned a reputation for unwavering dedication and effectiveness. Central to this success is the leadership provided by individuals like the Sergeant Major, whose experience, expertise, and leadership shape the unit's culture.

    “I couldn’t have asked for a finer Sergeant Major,” said U.S. Marine Corps Col. Dennis W. Sampson, the Commanding Officer of the 26th MEU(SOC). “Sgt. Maj Horr is always trying to take care of Marines, and protecting the values of our Corps. It’s been an absolute honor and a privilege to work alongside him. Warfighting, readiness, and performance of a unit reflects leadership, and what you see when you look at the 26th MEU(SOC) reflects the leadership of Sgt Maj. Horr.”

    During the relief and appointment ceremony, the outgoing Sergeant Major relinquishes their duties and responsibilities to their successor, symbolized by the passing of the unit colors or guidon. This symbolic gesture represents the transfer of authority and trust from one leader to another, ensuring the unit remains unified and focused on its objectives.

    “I feel blessed to be in this position today,” said Sgt. Maj. Taylor. “I will always give my all to this unit in order to maintain and push beyond everything that has been accomplished. I enjoy being a Sergeant Major because it allows me to help out Marines and Sailors in the command.”

    In January 2017, 1stSgt Taylor transitioned to Force Reconnaissance Company, where he remained until his promotion to Sergeant Major in April 2018. Throughout his tenure with Force Company, he fulfilled the role of an instructor for Career Course seminar class 1-18. Upon joining 2d Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company in June 2018, he collaborated with various NATO Allies and partners during his deployment in support of Trident Juncture, and hosted diverse partners during exercise Burmese Chase, culminating in a Mess Night that bolstered our relationships. Between August 2020 and February 2022, he dedicated his service to MARSOC at 3rd Raider Battalion, known as Spiritus Invictus.

    Over the last two years, he has been engaged with Marine Corps Training Mission-United Arab Emirates, contributing to a Foreign Military Sales case in an advisory capacity to the Sergeant Major for the Presidential Guard.
    “My focus will be on lethality and warfighting,” said Sgt. Maj. Taylor. “The MEU(SOC) is the principle force of deterrence, there’s nothing like it and is the highest functioning most lethal unit. I’m thankful to be a part of it and I look forward to taking the fight to the enemy.”

    With the appointment of a new Sergeant Major, the 26th MEU looks towards the future with optimism and determination. The incoming leader brings with them a wealth of experience, fresh perspectives, and a steadfast commitment to upholding the unit's standards of excellence. Their leadership will guide and inspire the Marines under their command, fostering a culture of professionalism, resilience, and innovation.

    “I’m excited to welcome Sgt. Maj. Taylor. He comes with a wealth of knowledge and I look forward to working with him,” said Col. Sampson. “I have the full trust and confidence that he will be value added and continue making this team better each and every day.”

    The relief and appointment of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit Sergeant Major is more than just a change in leadership; it's a reaffirmation of the unit's commitment to excellence, integrity, and service. With strong leadership at the helm, the 26th MEU stands Ready to face whatever challenges lie ahead, confident in its ability to honor its legacy and living up to its motto of being “A Certain Force in an Uncertain World.”


    Date Taken: 04.19.2024
    Date Posted: 04.23.2024 09:55
    Story ID: 469222

    Web Views: 601
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