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Sgt.Maj. Phillip Orellano receives a non-commissioned officer’s sword from Lt. Col. Ralph J. Rizzo Jr., the commanding officer of Combat Logistics Battalion 6, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, during a post and relief ceremony aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 25. By accepting the 'sword of office,' Orellano takes his post as the battalion's senior enlisted advisor. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado)

Photo by Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado

Combat Logistics Battalion six welcomes new sergeant Major

2 Mar 2011 | Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado

The Marines and sailors of Combat Logistics Battalion 6, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, welcomed Sgt. Maj. Phillip Orellano as their new senior enlisted leader during a post and relief ceremony aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 25, 2011.

Orellano relieved 1st Sgt. James Gillespie, the battalion’s acting sergeant major, after a successful tour as the company first sergeant for Headquarters Company, 2nd Bn., 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division.

Gillespie will remain with the battalion as the company first sergeant for Headquarters and Support Co.

Although it is Orellano’s first post since attaining the rank of sergeant major, his reputation has already commanded steadfast support from none other than the commanding officer himself.

“I believe we got the cream of the crop here,” said Lt. Col. Ralph J. Rizzo Jr., the commanding officer for CLB-6, 2nd MLG. “When I met the sergeant major I told him he had two jobs … I said to him those two jobs were to take care of our Marines and to take care of me, and you can’t do one without doing the other.

 “I saw the look in his eyes and he is ready,” said Rizzo.

Kind words aside, Orellano did not hesitate to mention the critical role the “Red Cloud Battalion’s” junior Marines will play in scope of his daily duties. He addressed them after being presented with a non-commissioned officer’s sword; a tradition which represents the “office of the sergeant major.”

“There are many challenges that lay ahead for us, including another deployment this year, but it is nothing we won’t be able to overcome as a team,” said Orellano, as he spoke to the two platoons of Marines present during the ceremony.

He also noted the importance of taking care of Marines on a more personal level and ensuring their morale remained high as the unit’s second tour to Afghanistan nears.

“I want the Marines to stay motivated; I don’t want them to think I’m unapproachable,” Orellano said. “I need them to know they can talk to me about their problems. This battalion is my main concern and I will take care of everyone to the best of my abilities. I’m ready.”

Orellano completed recruit training aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego in 1988 and has deployed in support of Operations Desert Shield/Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. His personal decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with two gold stars in lieu of third award, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with gold star in lieu of second award and the Combat Action Ribbon.

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