MARINE CORPS AIR STATION NEW RIVER, N.C. --
Sgt. Maj. Robert A. Allen Jr. relinquished the role of Marine Corps Air Station New River senior enlisted advisor to Sgt. Maj. William H. Oldenburg during a relief and appointment, and retirement ceremony held at the C-12 flight line aboard the air station, April 11.
Allen served as the MCAS New River sergeant major for two years and retired after 30 years of faithful and honorable service.
The guest speaker, Col. Timothy M. Salmon, air station commanding officer, thanked Allen for his dedication and exemplary service, not only for his time aboard the air station but also throughout his entire Marine Corps career.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to have Sgt. Maj. Allen as my sergeant major the last nine months,” said Col. Timothy M. Salmon, air station commanding officer. “I started thinking of some of his character traits and the first that came to mind were smart, hardworking, diligent and faithful. He’s a Marine’s Marine.”
Allen, during his final speech, attributed his drive to the Marines, family and friends surrounding him.
“A young Marine asked me what what makes me tick, what motivates me,” Allen said. “To me it is very simple. It is all of you. Marines, thank you very much. Keep looking forward. This is your house. You are the watch.”
Noncommissioned officers held key billets during the ceremony and marched with the noncommissioned officer sword. Sgt. Maj. Allen’s son, Sgt. Robert A. Allen III, a motor transportation specialist with Marine Wing Support Squadron 272, was the commander of troops for the ceremony. The commander of troops is responsible for the formation, presentation and march in review.
“In case you didn’t recognize the similarity between the commander of troops and the sergeant major, it’s a father-son team here,” Salmon said. “So we’re doing a little bit more here than passing the sword from one sergeant major to another sergeant major. We are indeed passing the torch from one generation to another of leaders.”
During the ceremony, Allen was awarded the Legion of Merit.
Sgt. Maj. William H. Oldenburg, MCAS New River’s newest sergeant major, gave a brief speech with his goal for serving as station sergeant major.
“Once I got the job, I started thinking to myself, why do you want to be here,” Oldenburg said. “Now is the opportunity as the station sergeant major to help you and provide that support and those services so that you can focus on your task as being the best aviators and aviation element of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force.”