Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps (officially abbreviated to SgtMajMarCor, and unofficially as SMMC) is a unique non-commissioned rank and billet in the United States Marine Corps.
In the Marine Corps, sergeant major is the ninth and highest enlisted rank, just above first sergeant, and equal in grade to master gunnery sergeant, although the two have different responsibilities. Sergeant major is both a rank and a military billet, and serves as the unit commander's senior enlisted advisor and to handle matters of discipline and morale among the enlisted Marines. The Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps is chosen by the Commandant of the Marine Corps to serve as his advisor and as the preeminent and highest ranking enlisted Marine with a protocol equivalency of a lieutenant general.
Although not officially considered a Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, when Archibald Sommers was appointed to the grade of Sergeant Major January 1, 1801, it was a solitary post, similar to the modern billet of Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps. In 1833, an act of legislation made the rank of sergeant major permanent for the Marine Corps and by 1899 five Marines held the rank of sergeant major. This continued until 1946, when the rank was abolished, only to be re-introduced in 1954 as part of the Marine Corps rank structure.
The post of Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps was established in 1957 as the senior enlisted advisor to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, the first such post in any of the five branches of the United States Armed Forces. In 1970, the distinctive rank insignia of the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps was authorized and features the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor flanked by two stars, as opposed to the standard Sergeant Major rank insignia, which was used for the rank from the post's creation in 1957 to 1970, and has a single five point star in the center. While Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps is the full wording of the rank, verbal address for this is commonly Sergeant Major.
The Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps is selected by the Commandant of the Marine Corps and typically serves a four-year term with them, though his service is at the discretion of the Commandant. Since Wilbur Bestwick was appointed the first Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps in 1957, 17 different Marines have filled this post. In April 2011, Commandant James F. Amos announced that Sergeant Major Micheal Barrett would relieve Sergeant Major Kent and serve as the 17th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps on June 9, 2011.
The salary for SMMC is $7,609.50 per month
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