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1st Marine Aircraft Wing Relief and Appointment Ceremony

By Lance Cpl. Jonah Baase | III Marine Expeditionary Force | April 22, 2017

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CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa, Japan -- Sgt. Maj. Mario A. Marquez, relinquished his post as the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing sergeant major to Sgt. Maj. Michael J. Pritchard on Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan, April 21, 2017.

Marquez served as 1st MAW sergeant major since March 27, 2015. He’ll stay in Okinawa to assume his post as III Marine Expeditionary Force sergeant major.

“I look forward to working with III MEF Marines,” said Marquez a native of Lakewood, California. “I’m eager to assume this position.”

During his time with 1st MAW, Marquez observed various squadrons participating in humanitarian assistance projects throughout Thailand during Cobra Gold 2016 and 2017, as well as, full blown humanitarian assistance disaster relief missions from Nepal to mainland Japan in which MAW aircraft and personnel eased much suffering and saved lives.

“I’m blessed to have gotten the chance to work out here,” said Marquez. “The staff and commanders have been exceptional.”

“I love working with him.” said Maj. Gen. Russell A. Sanborn a Gainesville, Florida native and commanding general of 1st MAW. “He’s a great Marine and a ‘see it, fix it’ type of guy.”

Marquez reflected on the fundamentals of being a Marine and a better member of society.

“It’s very important to me that we portray the example as good American citizens as we serve overseas,” said Marquez. “We are a role model, we are an example to society of what a human being should being doing through their life.”

Marquez expressed his confidence in Pritchard’s ability to lead Marines in 1st MAW.

Pritchard, a Keene, New Hampshire native previously served as sergeant major for Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd MAW, I MEF.

“The MAW is in good hands,” said Marquez.

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