VMM-365 welcomes new senior enlisted advisor

Marine Corps Air Station New River
Story by Cpl. Martin Egnash

Date: 09.26.2013
Posted: 09.26.2013 10:51
News ID: 114304
VMM-365 welcomes new senior enlisted advisor

NEW RIVER, N.C. - Sgt. Maj. Bradley W. Baiotto stepped on deck as the sergeant major of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 (VMM), Sept. 13, during a relief and appointment ceremony in the VMM-365 hangar.<br /> <br /> During the ceremony, Sgt. Maj. Jeffery M. Cullen stepped down as senior enlisted advisor for the squadron and retired.<br /> <br /> Baiotto just returned from a deployment to Afghanistan a month before the ceremony.<br /> <br /> “Things are moving fast,” said Baiotto. “But I respect what this squadron does. They have great pilots and outstanding maintainers. I’m excited to be a part of it.”<br /> <br /> Baiotto came to VMM-365 from Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 8 aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, where he served as the battalion sergeant major. <br /> <br /> “This will be my first time serving in the wing of the Marine Corps,” said Baiotto. “I volunteered for this opportunity so I could see how each part of a (Marine Air-Ground Task Force) worked.”<br /> <br /> Before CLB-8, Baiotto served as the company first sergeant for Marine Special Operations Command Company A.<br /> <br /> “I heard about Cullen while I was in MARSOC,” said Baiotto. “They said great things about him there; he’s a legend in that community.”<br /> <br /> During his appointment speech, Baiotto told the people in attendance that the ceremony is not about them getting a new sergeant major, but rather recognizing a true American hero in Cullen.<br /> <br /> “I have made very few decisions here without first consulting Sgt. Maj. Cullen,” said Lt. Col. Christian Harshberger, VMM-365 commanding officer. “The few times that I didn’t consult him was only because I physically could not get a hold of him. I will miss him. I could not have done all the things I’ve done in this squadron without him.”<br /> <br /> Cullen has been the senior enlisted advisor of VMM-365 since January 2011. This was Cullen’s first experience with the wing as well.<br /> <br /> “When I came to VMM-365 from 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, I had never been part of the air wing before,” said Cullen. “But Marines from VMM-365 flew for my Marines when we were deployed, so I knew they were good guys. They always get the job done.”<br /> <br /> Cullen said working in the “air” section of a MAGTF presents unique challenges.<br /> <br /> “I had to learn how to fly with all the other crew chiefs,” said Cullen. “The enlisted Marines of VMM-365 know what they’re doing. Sgt. Maj. Baiotto lucked out with them.”