MCLB holds sergeant major retirement and appointment

In the retirement ceremony, Sgt. Maj. Balczo returns the officer's sword

The noncommissioned officer's sword -- a symbol of the sergeant major office -- marked the retirement of one and the appointment of another.

Sergeant Major Stephen Balczo of the Marine Corps Logistics Command retired on Friday. The Michigan-native served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 28 years.

"It's really transition time. I don't plan on sitting on the front porch, I don't have a rocker. It's finding employment and seeing how we can use my talents elsewhere," says Balczo.

Balczo held assignments in Desert Shield/Desert Storm and in Okinawa, Japan. He acted as Sergeant Major at MCLB in Albany beginning in May 2008 until his retirement in 2011.

Major General James Kessler says about Balczo, "He's the guy who can come in and tell you the way it is. It is so critical to a healthy organization."

Sergeant Major Christopher Harper will assume duties as command sergeant major for Logistics Command.

"It feels great. I'm truly looking forward to this opportunity to serve as the senior enlisted for the Marine Corps Logistics Command," Harper says.

After the appointment ceremony, Harper spoke to the attendees saying, "My commitment to this command is absolute."

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