Sergeant Major Carlton W. Kent visits with Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort Marines, sailors

25 May 2007 | Cpl. C. Lindsay

The 16th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Sgt. Maj. Carlton W. Kent visited Fightertown Tuesday to tour the Air Station and speak with Marines and sailors. This is his first official trip to Beaufort since taking his post as the Corps’ top enlisted Marine April 25.

The purpose of Kent’s visit was to bring his and the Commandant of the Marine Corps message to Beaufort Marines and get their input on future ideas and recognize their efforts and hard work.

“I wanted to tell them they are doing great things,” Kent said. “They are making it happen for our Corps.”

Kent spoke to Fightertown service members on three occasions during his visit and addressed topics such as keeping the current deployment lengths, the new physical training uniform, the goal of sending every Marine to the fight, barracks life and quality of life issues.

“I love looking eye-to-eye with Marines, they’re very bright and have some good ideas they put up to us,” he said. “These Marines are very amazing - the things they do” he said. “They asked great questions so it really gave me some insight.”

“It was great for us to have an open dialogue with the sergeant major of the Marine Corps,” said Lance Cpl. Nicholas Weber, a training coordinator for Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron. “He answered a lot of questions I had about the deployments and I can’t wait to see the new PT gear.”

The Marines at the Air Station are really motivated, Kent observed.

“I have not walked into a unit here where the motivation has not been high,” he said.

“The Marines here are very vital,” Kent continued. “They provide the support we need for our warriors in combat - they provide it in an outstanding manner.”

Kent said his primary focus as sergeant major of the Marine Corps will be taking care of the warfighters and their families. However, he will also be strongly focused on making the quality of life better for the single Marines.

He plans to keep up with Sgt. Maj. John Estrada’s Bachelor Enlisted Quarters policy and also to expand on it by relaxing the hours visitors are allowed in the barracks and making sure single Marines are treated like adults.

“We have to take care of our single Marines by ensuring they have exactly what they need at the barracks,” Kent said. “Single Marines are the ones we really, really need to focus on. We’ve done great things for our families and will continue to do great things, but the single Marines are the ones we really need to focus on.”

Even though this was his first official visit to the Air Station, Kent plans to return.

“I really enjoyed my visit and look forward to coming back in the future,” Kent said. “Our commandant and I think (Marines here) are doing an outstanding job. The American people know they are doing great things as a Corps.”