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Marines

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U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Christopher Thomas, the outgoing sergeant major of 4th Marine Logistics Group, poses for a photo with his family during a relief and appointment ceremony on Marine Corps Support Facility, New Orleans, Dec. 19, 2023. This ceremony serves as the official changeover between sergeants major, honoring the outgoing sergeant major's contributions during his tenure, while offering the opportunity for the oncoming sergeant major to introduce himself to the Marines now under his charge. Thomas was relieved from his appointment by Sgt. Maj. Patrick Fay, the incoming sergeant major of 4th Marine Logistics Group. Thomas is a Franklin, Louisiana native and retired with 29 years of service. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Sarah Pysher)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Sarah Pysher

Gratitude in relief: A Franklin, Louisiana native, sergeant major expresses thanks as he passes on his legacy.

22 Dec 2023 | Lance Cpl. Sarah Pysher U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve

U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Christopher Thomas was replaced as the command senior enlisted leader of 4th Marine Logistics Group by Sgt. Maj. Patrick Fay during a relief and appointment ceremony at the Marine Corps Support Facility New Orleans, Dec. 19, 2023.

During the ceremony, Thomas was honored for his contributions during his three-year tenure at 4th MLG and as he retired from the Marine Corps after more than 29 years of service.

As a part of the ceremony, Thomas, a native of Franklin, Louisiana, addressed the audience and thanked everyone who supported him throughout his Marine Corps career.

“To the love of my life… it is truly breathtaking what you go through and what you have gone through for the family to ensure we are taken care of at home and to allow me to focus on what I do in the workspace,” said Thomas.

He took the time to individually name and thank Marines he served with at 4th MLG, from his commanding generals to the lance corporals in numerous sections. Thomas gave a special message to all of them.

“I know I’m talking long but, oh well, this is my last time,” Thomas laughed.

Before Thomas introduced Fay, he explained that in his many years at 4th MLG, one question he was constantly asked was, “how is 4th MLG going to be designed to fight the fight of the future?” With his answer he left his last words of wisdom for the Marines he served with and the new Marines to come:

“Focus on the basics. Focus on being ready. Focus on mastering your military occupational specialty. Focus on the orders that guide us day in and day out. And when the time comes for us to fight, trust in your leader to have a plan and they will ensure you are ready.”

When Fay took the stage, he expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to lead and carry on the legacy and work Thomas left behind. Fay continued to tell the audience how he learned of his upcoming duty station, as well as learning who Thomas was and all the good he had done in the Marine Corps.

“’Do you know who you are replacing?’ became a very common theme,” explained Fay.

He went on to say that every Marine he ran into knew Thomas in some way and he had a powerful and positive impact on them. Fay then offered his congratulations to Thomas for his many years of service and wished him luck with new opportunities he will have as he retires from the Marine Corps.

Thomas enlisted in the Marine Corps in April of 1994 as a motor vehicle operator. In more than 29 years of service, Thomas was assigned to different units in various places including Okinawa, Japan, Marine Corps Bases Camp Lejeune, Cherry Point, North Carolina, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, MCRD San Diego, Houston, and New Orleans. He deployed five separate times in support of numerous operations and missions.

He is the recipient of the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (Gold Star in lieu of third award), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (Gold Star in lieu of second award), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (Gold Star in lieu of third award), Combat Action Ribbon, and other unit and service awards.

 

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