Photo Information

Sgt. Maj. Jonathan W. Clark receives the noncommissioned officer sword from Maj. Richard P. Neikirk, commanding officer of Recruiting Station Raleigh, during a relief and appointment ceremony June 30 at the North Carolina State University Memorial Bell Tower, NC. The passing of the sword signifies the transfer of sacred trust from one sergeant major to the other. Clark relieved Sgt. Maj. Jim E. Lanham who is to report to Okinawa, Japan, as the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit sergeant major. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Antonio J. Rubio/Released)

Photo by Sgt. Antonio J. Rubio

Recruiting Station Raleigh welcomes new sergeant major

1 Aug 2016 | Sgt. Antonio J. Rubio 4th Marine Corps District

Sgt. Maj. Jim E. Lanham relinquished his post at Marine Corps Recruiting Station Raleigh to Sgt. Maj. Jonathan W. Clark during a relief and appointment ceremony, June 30 at the North Carolina State University Memorial Bell Tower.       

Lanham, a Ft. Rucker, Alabama native, graduated recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in April 27, 1990. Following the School of Infantry, he was assigned the military occupational specialty of rifleman.

In July 2010, First Sergeant Lanham was promoted to the rank of sergeant major and transferred to 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, where he served as the battalion sergeant major. During this tour, he deployed to Afghanistan and upon return participated in the unit deployment program deploying to Okinawa, Japan in 2013.

He executed orders to be RS Raleigh’s sergeant major in December 2013. For nearly three years, he worked to drive and inspire the Marines of the RS. Lanham highlighted the dedication of the Marines under his charge.

“I appreciate being recognized for the success here at the RS, but none of it would have been possible if it wasn’t for the Marines in this command,” said Lanham. “Their selflessness, professionalism and continual devotion to the Marine Corps and to each other is beyond reproach, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without them. It was a blessing to serve with them, and I know they’ll continue to do a great job.”

Lanham is to report back to Okinawa, Japan, this time as the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit sergeant major. As he gets ready to depart RS Raleigh, the commanding officer of RS Raleigh, Maj. Richard P. Neikirk, says Lanham’s presence will be missed.

“Sergeant Major Lanham… displayed a deep and lasting commitment to his Marines with an unparalleled devotion to duty, which helped enhance the recruiting mission and the Marine’s overall welfare,” Neikirk. “I know he’ll continue to be a great influence as he heads over to the 31st MEU.”

Clark, a Nashville, Tennessee native, enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 1993. Upon completion of recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, and Marine Combat Training, he reported to Artillery Training School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to become a Field Artillery Cannon Crewman.

In December 2003, Clark deployed with Kilo Battery to Okinawa, Japan, for a UDP tour.  In August 2004, Kilo Battery was attached to 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team-2 and deployed to Al-Waleed, Iraq, where he served as 2nd Platoon Sergeant, provisional infantry in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In February 2011, he was frocked to the rank of first sergeant and assigned to the Inspector-Instructor Staff, 4th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, Marine Forces Reserve, West Palm Beach Florida.  In March 2013, he completed Airborne Jump School at Ft. Benning and earned his “Gold Wing” Navy & Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia six months later. 

In February 2014, he was assigned to The Basic School, Quantico, Virginia.  He served as the company first sergeant for Echo Company and Logistics Support Company. In August 2015, he was assigned to the command team responsible for reestablishing Combat Instructor Battalion and he served as the inaugural sergeant major.  In November 2015, he was frocked to his current rank. 

“Sergeant Major Clark is highly experienced, shows his eagerness to learn the RS’s role and I know he’ll be a role model that the Marines will look up to,” said Neikirk. “I look forward to the relationship we will forge.”

Before the closing of the ceremony, the newly appointed sergeant major gave the Marines and guests in attendance words of encouragement.

“I have to say thank you to all those who helped me along with my transition,” said Clark. “I look forward to picking up where Sergeant Major Lanham left off. I have big shoes to fill but I’m ready to do great things within this command.”

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