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Marine Corps Recruiting Command

Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.

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New Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps posts

By Cpl. Ethan E. Rocke | | June 30, 2003

MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Hundreds of Marines and civilians gathered at Marine Barracks, Washington D.C., Thursday for a special ceremony to welcome the new sergeant major of the Marine Corps.

Sgt. Maj. John L. Estrada relieved Sgt. Maj. Alfred L. McMichael, becoming the 15th Marine to hold the post of highest enlisted Marine.

McMichael's next assignment will be sergeant major, U.S. European Command.

During the ceremony, McMichael passed the sword of office to Gen. Michael W. Hagee, commandant, U.S. Marine Corps, signifying the completion of his tour as sergeant major of the Marine Corps.

Hagee then passed the sword to Estrada, establishing him as the new senior enlisted Marine. 

Hagee also awarded McMichael the Distinguished Service Medal for his exceptionally meritorious service during his time as sergeant major of the Marine Corps.

Gen. James L. Jones, supreme allied commander, Europe, and commander, U.S. European Command, was on hand for the ceremony as well. McMichael served as Jones' enlisted counterpart during Jones' tour as commandant of the Marine Corps from 1999-2003.  

Estrada has served in the Marine Corps for almost 30 years.

Some of his various assignments include drill instructor duty at Marine Corps Recruit Depots, San Diego and Parris Island, S.C. He has served in several Marine fighter attack squadrons, including Marine Fighter Attack Squadron-451, Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, S.C. He held several billets as a first sergeant from 1990-95. His last assignment was sergeant major, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Miramar, Calif.

His personal awards include two Meritorious Service Medals, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

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