CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
The Marine Corps said farewell to one of its sergeants major after 31 years of service.
Sgt. Maj. Charles T. Blumenberg, the sergeant major of Combat Logistics Regiment 25, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, retired during a ceremony Jan. 20, aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C.
From the sound of attention to the final “Semper Fidelis,” the ceremony was filled with Marine Corps tradition. Col. Eric M. Smith, the guest speaker and commanding officer of 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, who served with Blumenberg on multiple occasions, started off the series of speeches.
“We’re sending a phenomenal [staff noncommissioned officer] home today,” Smith said. “Sergeant major, you’re the epitome of a staff NCO. [You taught me] how to do the right thing, and the right time to do it.”
Blumenberg was assigned as a track vehicle repairman with 1st Force Service Support Group aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., after graduating recruit training in 1980. He went on to serve in Okinawa, Japan, Twenty-Palms, Calif., Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, and continued his career as a drill instructor at Parris Island, S.C. He also helped establish many programs at the Wounded Warrior Regiment in Quantico, Va.
“Your legacy will go on,” Smith told Blumenberg. “I’ll miss you sergeant major.”
To follow tradition, a folded flag was passed through various ranks and eventually passed to Blumenberg. He then passed it to his wife.
Blumenberg explained during his speech how important his family is and how they’ve been there every step of the way.
“I recall my wife telling me multiple times, ‘I think you love the Marine Corps more than you love me,’” he said with a chuckle. “But here we are; I’m coming back home, and I’m going to be there for you now,” Blumenberg, a Miami native, told his family.
Blumenberg brought his children to the center of the field as the ceremony came to an end. They said the two words he’s demonstrated throughout his career: Semper Fidelis.
“[Sergeant Major Blumenberg] embodies the standard of a Marine,” concluded Col. Christopher B. Edwards, CLR-25 commanding officer. “He doesn’t only talk the talk, but he walks the walk.”