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Post and relief ceremony inducts new station sergeant major

13 May 2005 | Sgt. Rebecca S. Newton

The station received a new sergeant major Friday evening in a post and relief ceremony on the station parade deck.

Sgt. Maj. Brian L. Lindstrom of Kingsford, Mich., turned over his post to Sgt. Maj. Manuel Garibay Jr., a native of Norwalk, Calif.

Lindstrom had been station sergeant major since July 2003. Previously, Lindstrom served as sergeant major of Marine Aircraft Group-13. During his 30 years of service, he served in a variety of billets such as platoon sergeant, senior drill instructor, platoon commander, company gunnery sergeant, company first sergeant, and also sergeant major of Marine Attack Squadron-214 and Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron-161.

Lindstrom has deployed in support of both Operations Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Among his awards and decorations are Meritorious Service Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal with three gold stars, the Combat Action Ribbon and the Legion of Merit.

Station Executive Officer Lt. Col. Stanley W. Salamon said he found Lindstrom to be a "blessing to work with."

"He believes in the Marine Corps ethos and mission, and consistently provides guidance to the command and its Marines with that mission in mind," the Wilmington, Del., native said.

At the post and relief ceremony, Col. James J. Cooney, station commanding officer, spoke of Lindstrom's many accomplishments, chief among them his success with revamping the station Corporals Course.

"(That is a program) he's invested a huge part of his heart and soul in," said Cooney during the ceremony. "I think it's a testament that the last ceremony of his career would be put on by the junior Marines, corporals and sergeants that he was so devoted to training."

Cooney, who is originally from Weymouth, Mass., also welcomed and expressed his confidence in Garibay to fill the billet of station sergeant major as successfully as Lindstrom had.

Lindstrom said he felt confident that Garibay will enjoy the same demands and rewards he did in the office of sergeant major.

"I think Sergeant Major Garibay is one of the luckiest sergeants major in the Marine Corps for coming here. This air station is one of the best kept secrets in the Marine Corps," Lindstrom said. "I'm sure he'll have as much fun as I have in this billet. I'm sure he's going to enjoy it, and I'm sure he'll have no problem with the adjustment. The air station is in good hands."

Garibay joins the station after a tour on recruiting duty in Phoenix.

"I am happy he is here," Cooney said. "He's coming off one of the most demanding assignments in the Marine Corps -- making Marines -- and very much wants to be involved with his new mission here -- helping Marines win battles."

"Being stationed here, there's a lot of good things about it," Garibay said. "It's a good feeling to see the Marines walking around in their uniforms, talking and acting like Marines. Talking to some of the junior Marines, there's a lot positive about this station."

Garibay has served as an engineer equipment mechanic, engineer equipment chief, drill instructor, and Officers Candidate School instructor throughout his 26 years in the Corps.

During that time he earned the Meritorious Service medal with gold star and the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold star, among others.

Garibay has served twice as a company gunnery sergeant, company first sergeant, platoon commander, and as sergeant major for the Marine Corps Air Facility at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

Garibay said he is looking forward to his time as station sergeant major, and to working with the station Marines.

"I just plan to carry on the legacy and tradition Sergeant Major Lindstrom has begun," Garibay added. "I just want to keep educating the Marines Ñ leading them, being a mentor to them, just being someone they can talk to. In my opinion, the sergeant major should always be approachable to any Marine, including all the civilians on base."

The post and relief ceremony was immediately followed by Lindstrom's retirement ceremony.

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