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1st Marine Division

Camp Pendleton, CA
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MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – Sergeant Maj. Clifford Wiggins, the former sergeant major of 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, hands a noncommissioned officer sword to Lt. Col. William Blanchard, the commanding officer of 3rd AABn., as Sgt. Maj. Michael P. Woods (left) takes over as battalion sergeant major during a relief and appointment ceremony here, Aug. 23, 2013. Relief and appointment ceremonies are one of the many traditions upheld in the Marine Corps today, which involves the passing of the noncommissioned officer sword from the outgoing sergeant major to the oncoming. The passing of the sword signifies the transfer of responsibility and entails the transfer of total accountability and authority, from one senior enlisted Marine to another. The sword thus continues as the personification of military tradition and is entrusted to those most responsible for maintaining it.
130823-M-OM885-201.JPG Photo By: Cpl. Joseph Scanlan

Aug 27, 2013
Camp Pendleton CA United States - MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – Sergeant Maj. Clifford Wiggins, the former sergeant major of 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, hands a noncommissioned officer sword to Lt. Col. William Blanchard, the commanding officer of 3rd AABn., as Sgt. Maj. Michael P. Woods (left) takes over as battalion sergeant major during a relief and appointment ceremony here, Aug. 23, 2013. Relief and appointment ceremonies are one of the many traditions upheld in the Marine Corps today, which involves the passing of the noncommissioned officer sword from the outgoing sergeant major to the oncoming. The passing of the sword signifies the transfer of responsibility and entails the transfer of total accountability and authority, from one senior enlisted Marine to another. The sword thus continues as the personification of military tradition and is entrusted to those most responsible for maintaining it.


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