MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO --
The 16th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps visited the depot Dec. 14 to meet with recruiters, drill instructors, recruits and Marines, and to speak about changes to Corps’ policies and directives.
Sergeant Major Carlton W. Kent began his visit at the depot by speaking with Drill Instructor School students about the their importance in helping shape and mold the Corps’ newest Marines.
Kent said he is especially focused on ensuring drill instructors exemplify the Corps’ standards by staying in top-physical condition and maintaining combat readiness.
During his career, Kent served two tours of duty here. His first was in February 1983 as a drill instructor, senior drill instructor and battalion drill master with 1st Battalion, RTR.
His second tour was as sergeant major 2nd Recruit Training Battalion and sergeant major Recruit Training Regiment in August 1997.
Next, Kent visited with the instructor staff at Recruiters School, praising the outstanding job that they have been doing to provide the Marine Corps with individuals trained for recruiting duty.
"It was motivating to see what the sergeant major passed on from the commandant about recruiters being at the forefront of the Marine Corps," said Master Sgt. Peter J. Raia, prior service recruiter course head.
Kent then visited with Recruit Training Regiment’s Medical Rehabilitation Platoon — a transition platoon designed to allow recruits to recover from injures before joining another training company to graduate — where he advised recruits on ways to mentally overcome injuries and go on to become Marines.
"The sergeant major was adamant about not giving up," said Recruit Joseph M. Knight, MRP.
After visiting with individual units, Kent addressed depot Marines and sailors at McDougal Hall about several issues to include changes to the Marine Corps physical training uniform.
Cotton sweats will still be authorized, but a new jogging suit has been approved and will be issued to every Marine in the next few months, he said.
"The new gear has a good color and material, but best of all it’s free," said Raia.
Kent addressed other policies regarding topics such as deployments, dress uniforms, and the G.I Bill.
Kent ended his day by presenting his personal Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps coin to the depot’s top-performing enlisted Marines.
"I was honored to meet the highest ranking enlisted Marine," said Sgt. Fabiola Escobedo, adjutant clerk from Headquarters and Service Battalion. She was one of the Marines who received a coin.