• Change of Responsibility

    Change of Responsibility

    Marine Sgt. Maj. Joseph Griffin (right) takes hold of the ceremonial sword from Headquarters & Service Battalion Henderson Hall Commanding Officer Marine Col. Keith Couch during a Relief and Appointment Ceremony at Henderson Hall’s Joe Rosenthal Theatre April 18.

  • Change of Responsibility

    Change of Responsibility

    Outgoing Headquarters & Service Battalion Henderson Hall Marine Sgt. Maj. Edward Parsons emotionally speaks to well-wishers and Family members April 18 at the Relief and Appointment Ceremony at Joe Rosenthal Theatre. Parsons served as H & S Battalion sergeant major for over two years.

Griffin new H & S Battalion sergeant major

By Jim Dresbach

Pentagram Staff Writer

Headquarters and Service Battalion Headquarters Marine Corps Henderson Hall has a new senior enlisted advisor and team member.

Marine Sgt. Maj. Joseph Griffin was welcomed as the new H & S Bn. sergeant major during a relief and appointment ceremony at Henderson Hall’s Joe Rosenthal Theatre April 18.

With Sgt. Maj. of the Marines Corps Ronald L. Green, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Commander Army Col. Kimberly Peeples, Deputy Joint Base Commander Marine Lt. Col. Mark Paolicelli and JBM-HH Command Army Sgt. Maj. Steven Harris in attendance, outgoing Marine Sgt. Maj. Edward Parsons passed the noncommissioned officers sword to H & S Battalion Commanding Officer Marine Col. Keith Couch who then handed the ceremonial sword to Griffin.

“This is a wonderful occasion,” Couch said. “It’s an opportunity to honor a time-honored tradition of the Marine Corps. It’s also an opportunity to acknowledge the billet of sergeant major and what that means. It’s a billet that epitomizes order, discipline, professionalism, leadership and the chance to provide expertise, experience, intellect and most importantly, provides counsel to commanding officers.”

Parsons has been on deck of H & S Battalion Headquarters since February 2017. In heartfelt remarks, he ran through a list of Marines, Family and civilians who offered support during his 25-month stay as sergeant major at Henderson Hall.

“I typically don’t use speaking notes for those of you who’ve seen me speak because I speak from my heart,” Parsons said. “I didn’t plan on getting emotional, but I’m tearing up here. This has been one of the most rewarding billets that I’ve had as a Marine. The relationships I was been able to build here helped me grow professionally. Sgt. Maj. Griffin, your experience here is going to be like no other.”

Griffin told the audience he understands the responsibility and honor of his new position and turned his appreciation toward Parsons.

“I have some huge shoes to fill; they love (Sgt. Maj. Parsons) at Henderson Hall,” Griffin said as he recalled a conversation he had with his wife. “For that reason, I feel a huge amount of responsibility. My solemn promise to you is that I will work every day to try to earn your trust, your respect, your admiration. I hope that I can at least scratch the surface of what (Sgt. Maj. Parsons) has done.”

Griffin joined the Marine Corps in January 1992. He has deployed twice to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and to Afghanistan, Okinawa, Syria, Libya and Somalia.

Pentagram Staff Writer Jim Dresbach can be reached at jdresbach@dcmilitary.com.