CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa, Japan -- The passing of the sword, the oldest weapon still in our arsenal today, symbolizes the passing of martial leadership from one sergeant major to the other.
Combat Logistics Battalion 31, the logistics combat element of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, held a post and relief ceremony here, August 10, as Sgt. Maj. Anthony P. Goss relinquished the duties of senior staff non-commissioned officer to Sgt. Maj. Matthew J. Grither.
The ceremony also served to commemorate the retirement of Goss, a native of Quitman, Georgia, who served the Marine Corps and his country for 30 years.
Goss received a Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star in lieu of second award and, as a retirement gift, a flag that was flown over the Beirut Memorial at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.
"People have asked if I'm happy I'm retiring and I can honestly say no, but I'm content with it - I have exceeded my goals," said Goss.
Goss' personal decorations also include a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Gold Star in lieu of second award, a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with two Gold Stars in lieu of third award, and the Combat Action Ribbon.
Grither, a native of Hillsboro, Missouri, was promoted to the rank of sergeant major Aug. 1, 2012, and joins CLB-31 after serving as the company first sergeant of Headquarters Company/Military Police Support Company, II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group during a one-year deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
"Today is really about Sgt. Maj. Goss, it is his ceremony and his retirement," said Grither. "I look forward to doing the best I can as the CLB-31 sergeant major and learning what each and every Marine in the CLB does."
His personal decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with three Gold Stars in lieu of fourth award, a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with three Gold Stars in lieu of fourth award, and the Combat Action Ribbon.
As the unit's new sergeant major, Grither must carry on the role of teacher and keeper of traditions, to both enlisted Marines and commissioned Marine officers.