Sergeants Major of the Marine Corps

I had the distinct honor and privilege of serving in the Marine Corps during
the tours of duty of the first four Sergeants Major of the Marine Corps.

Darry L. Deaton
Former Staff Sergeant, United States Marine Corps

Click on photo for official Marine Corps biography.
Wilbur Bestwick
1st Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
May 23, 1957 through August 31, 1959

Nov. 27, 1911 - Jul. 10, 1972

Francis D. Rauber
2nd Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
September 1, 1959 through June 28, 1962

Jul. 10, 1901 - Feb. 19, 1991

Thomas J. McHugh
3rd Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
June 29, 1962 through July 16, 1965

Dec. 23, 1919 - Feb. 21, 2000

Herbert J. Sweet
4th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
July 17, 1965 through July 31, 1969

Oct. 8, 1919 - Jun. 18, 1998

Joseph W. Dailey
5th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
August 1, 1969 through January 31, 1973
Clinton A. Puckett
6th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
February 1, 1973 through May 31, 1975

Mar. 6, 1926 - Sep. 3, 2002

Henry H. Black
7th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
June 1, 1975 through March 31, 1977
John R. Massaro
8th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
April 1, 1977 through August 15, 1979
Leland D. Crawford
9th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
Auguest 16, 1979 through June 27, 1983
Robert E. Cleary
10th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
June 28, 1983 through June 26, 1987
David W. Sommers
11th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
June 27, 1987 through June 27, 1991
Harold G. Overstreet
12th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
June 28, 1991 through June 29, 1995
Lewis G. Lee
13th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
June 30, 1995 through June 30, 1999
Alford L. McMichael
14th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
July 1, 1999 through June 6, 2003
John L. Estrada
15th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
June 27, 2003 through April 24, 2007
Carlton W. Kent
16th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
April 25, 2007 through Present

The Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps is the senior enlisted Marine in the Marine Corps.

He advises the Commandant of the Marine Corps on matters pertaining to enlisted Marines and accompanies the Commandant on all major command visits and other official trips.   The Sergeant Major also serves on the Enlisted Performance Board, (which considers remedial and meritorious promotions and substandard performance) and the Uniform Board.

The Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps is selected by the Commandant from nominees submitted by a board of Marine Generals.   The duration of his appointment is determined by the Commandant.

Although all U. S. Military services now have a similar senior enlisted billet, the Marine Corps was the first service to adopt it.   The Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps' counterpart in other military services includes the Sergeant Major of the Army, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force.


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-Darry L. Deaton, WebMaster@SemperFi.MuddyBoots.Net