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Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego

Depot welcomes new sergeant major

By Cpl. Benjamin E. Woodle | Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego | November 01, 2013

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Brig. Gen. James W. Bierman, commnading general, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and Western Recruiting Region, congratulates Sgt. Maj. Sylvester D. Daniels after presenting him with the  the Legion of Merit (gold star in lieu of second award) during a post and relief ceremony at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and Western Recruiting, Oct. 25.  Daniels retires after 31 years of service.

Brig. Gen. James W. Bierman, commnading general, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and Western Recruiting Region, congratulates Sgt. Maj. Sylvester D. Daniels after presenting him with the the Legion of Merit (gold star in lieu of second award) during a post and relief ceremony at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and Western Recruiting, Oct. 25. Daniels retires after 31 years of service. (Photo by Cpl. Pedro Cardenas)


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Brig. Gen. James W. Bierman passes the sword of office to Sgt. Maj. James K. Porterfield during a post and relief ceremony for Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and Western Recruiting Region on Shepherd Field, Oct. 25. The ceremonial passing of the sword of office represents the passing of duties and accomplishments from one sergeant major to another. Daniels retires after 31 years of service and Porterfield assumes duties as sergeant major of MCRD San Diego and the WRR. During the ceremony, both sergeants major thanked the Marines who they have served with and acknowledged all of the support that they have received from their families, friends and community.

Brig. Gen. James W. Bierman passes the sword of office to Sgt. Maj. James K. Porterfield during a post and relief ceremony for Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and Western Recruiting Region on Shepherd Field, Oct. 25. The ceremonial passing of the sword of office represents the passing of duties and accomplishments from one sergeant major to another. Daniels retires after 31 years of service and Porterfield assumes duties as sergeant major of MCRD San Diego and the WRR. During the ceremony, both sergeants major thanked the Marines who they have served with and acknowledged all of the support that they have received from their families, friends and community. (Photo by Cpl. Pedro Cardenas)


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San Diego --

Sgt. Maj. Sylvester D. Daniels retired and turned over his duties as the sergeant major of Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and Western Recruiting Region to Sgt. Maj. James K. Porterfield during a post and relief ceremony at Shepherd Field, Oct. 25.

During the ceremony, the sword of office was taken from the current sergeant major by the commanding general, signifying the relinquishing of their duty, and was then given to the incoming sergeant major.

Porterfield was born November, 1970 in Jacksonville, Fla.  He enlisted in the Marine Corps March 1989 and completed recruit training at MCRD San Diego.

Prior to his assignment to the depot, Porterfield was the sergeant major of Recruit Training Regiment, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C. from December 2011 until his selection to his current post October 2013.

Porterfield holds numerous personal decorations, some including the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star and Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device and two Gold Stars.  Porterfield also has a Bachelors’ Degree in Public Administration from Roger Williams University and was a Distinguished Graduate of the Navy Senior Enlisted Academy.

During the ceremony, Porterfield addressed the Marines of the depot and laid out guidance for his tenure here.

“I look forward to serving as your sergeant major, I look forward to getting out and seeing what you do, but most importantly, I look forward to being there when you need somebody,” said Porterfield.  “I will set the example for the depot because it’s not about me, it’s about our institution and our institutional core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment.”

Brig. Gen. James W. Bierman, commanding general, MCRD San Diego and WRR, gave a speech with endless praises for the retiring Daniels.

“Thank you for putting your retirement on hold and for being my sergeant major for my first three months as the commanding general,” said Bierman.  “Our time here has been short, but I am really and truly honored to count you as a friend.  I’m a better Marine, officer, and man from having spent these last 90 days with you.  Know that you leave with the true respect and best wishes of myself and every single other Marine in this command.”

Daniels took over as the depot sergeant major May 2010.   During his time as sergeant major, Daniels advised and assisted over 2,239 recruiters and staff, 1,484 drill instructors, and 1,189 support personnel in obtaining and maintaining superior performance. 

After 31 years of faithful service, Daniels said goodbye to the Corps and his fellow Marines.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” said Daniels.  “If ever I can do anything for you please let me know.  Thank you for staying motivated and Semper Fidelis.”



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