MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA, OKINAWA, Japan --
Sgt. Maj. Timonthy J. Rudd accepted responsibility from Sgt. Maj. Devon A. Lee as the squadron sergeant major for Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262 during a post and relief ceremony Jan. 8 here.
Marines and family members attended the ceremony to watch Lee transfer the senior enlisted advisor role to Rudd.
“This was the first time I’ve had a chance to serve in the aviation community so I have gained a new respect for the hard work from all the Marines here,” said Lee.
During his time with VMM-262, Lee led the Marines during several training exercises and real-world operations, including Operation Damayan in the Philippines and the CH-46 aircraft and personnel phase out.
“Sgt. Maj. Lee and I took this squadron through a turbulent time during the honorable sundown of the CH-46 and the stand-up of the MV-22 and the re-designation of the squadron,” said Lt. Col. Larry G. Brown, the commanding officer for VMM-262. “His leadership and teamwork through that was monumental.”
At one moment in the ceremony, Lee transferred a United States Marine Corps non-commissioned officer sword to Rudd symbolizing the passing down the honor of responsibility from those who have led Marines as the sergeant major.
“Sgt. Maj. Rudd comes over here with a wealth of experience, a lot of knowledge and a great reputation,” said Lee, from Alexandria, Virginia. “I think he is going to take what I have done and continue to raise the bar higher.”
Taking possession of the sword, Rudd now accepts the position as the sergeant major for VMM-262.
“Sgt. Maj. Lee is a great leader of Marines and has influenced so many Marines, so it is going to be some tough shoes to fill,” said Rudd, from Jacksonville, North Carolina. “He has mentored and developed so many Marines that have served in the Marine Corps. I look forward to trying to touch a fraction of everything that he has been able to accomplish since he has been here.”
The Marines of VMM-262 are currently assigned to the 31st MEU as the aviation combat element and are conducting pre-deployment preparations for the regularly-scheduled Spring Patrol of the Asia-Pacific region.
“He (Rudd) is going to do a great job here as the squadron sergeant major and as the ACE sergeant major for the 31st MEU,” said Lee. “I think he is very prepared and won’t miss a beat. He is going to pick up the torch and continue to run and take this squadron to the next level.”
With high hopes, Rudd plans to lead VMM-262 with one simple plan.
“Leading great Marines,” said Rudd.