Photo Information

Col. Benjamin T. Watson, commanding officer of Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., passes a non-commissioned officer’s sword to the Barracks’ incoming sergeant major, Sgt. Maj. Joseph C. Gray during a relief and appointment ceremony at the Barracks Oct. 29, 2014. Gray replaces Sgt. Maj. Angela M. Maness who is assuming duties as the sergeant major for Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., and Eastern Recruiting Region.

Photo by Staff Sgt. Brian Buckwalter

Marine Barracks welcomes new sergeant major

29 Oct 2014 | Cpl. Alexandria Smith Marine Barracks

Sgt. Maj. Angela M. Maness passed all duties and responsibilities as the senior ranking enlisted Marine of Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., during a relief and appointment ceremony here to Sgt. Maj. Joseph C. Gray, Oct. 29.

Maness' next duty station is Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., and Eastern Recruiting Region. She will be working with Brig.  Gen. Terry Williams, traveling the East Coast assisting the recruiting commands screening and evaluating quality men and women to enlist into the Corps.

During her time here Maness said that there wasn’t a particular moment that will remain her most memorable, because while serving as the Barracks’ sergeant major, every moment she experienced was memorable.

While here, her priority was the Marines. Maness said her greatest accomplishment while serving at the Barracks, besides not dropping her sword during Ceremonial Drill School, was exposure to Headquarters Marine Corps-initiated promotion boards, performance evaluations and remedial promotion boards. She said this experience helped her provide counseling and coaching for Barracks Marines to have the most competitive records on these and other boards.

“I'm proud to have helped in some small way to ensure our Marines have the competitive edge," she said.

Her impact was noticed throughout the command.

"Sgt. Maj. Maness was not simply the first female sergeant major here at Marine Barracks Washington, she was the right Marine at the right time for this billet," said Col. Benjamin Watson, commanding officer of the Barracks.

Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., is the Marine Corps’ premier ceremonial unit, conducting missions in and around the National Capital Region, preparing Marines for follow on service in the operating forces, provides security at designated locations, and implements the Marine Corps’ distance learning program.

Gray transferred from 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, N.C. Prior to that assignment, he helped stand up Marine Special Operations Logistics Battalion in 2012.

Gray previously served at the Barracks in 1997 as a sergeant working as an electrician, a White House non-commissioned officer, and the public works liaison.

Gray said finding out he would return to the Barracks was humbling.

"This is a heavily screened position, and I am extremely humbled to be given the privilege to serve the Marines at the Corps’ oldest post,” Gray said.

As Gray steps into his new billet, he said his guiding quote is "ductus exemplo." Lead by example.

"In order to be a firm leader, you should lead by two things: professionalism and humility,” Gray said. "Professionalism - you should speak to a private first class the same way you would speak to a general officer. Humility - a leader should always remember it’s not about you, it’s about your Marines."