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Commandant announces next Sergeant Major of Marines

By Sgt. Michael S. Cifuentes | | April 13, 2011

Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos announced the next Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps April 11.

Sgt. Maj. Micheal Barrett, 1st Marine Division’s sergeant major, is set to take charge as the senior enlisted Marine in the Marine Corps. He’s scheduled to succeed Sgt. Maj. Carlton Kent, the current Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, during an appointment and relief ceremony, and Kent’s retirement ceremony held at Marine Barracks Washington June 9.

Barrett recently returned from a deployment to Helmand province, Afghanistan, where he served as Regional Command Southwest’s sergeant major.

Amos said Barrett is “the best of the best,” and will continue to serve the Corps as Amos’ senior enlisted advisor.

“Sgt. Maj. Barrett, through his long and distinguished service to our nation, has demonstrated that he is particularly well-suited to serve as my senior enlisted advisor through the challenges ahead,” said Amos.

Barrett enlisted as an infantryman in March 1981. In addition to Afghanistan, his combat deployments include serving in the Persian Gulf War as a sniper with 3rd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, and two tours in Iraq as battalion sergeant major of 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment.

Kent has served as the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps since April 25, 2007. He graduated recruit training March 1976 at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C. In his 35 years of service, Kent has led Marines in various billets to include senior drill instructor and battalion drill master at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, chief drill instructor and first sergeant at Naval Aviation Officers Candidate School in Pensacola, Fla., and sergeant major of I Marine Expeditionary Force at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.

“My time on active duty is coming to an end, and I'm honored to pass the sword of office to Sgt. Maj. Barrett,” said Kent. “He is a true warrior and will continue the great legacy our Corps.”