USMC hero

Alford McMichael
14th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps.
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Alford L. McMichael, Sgt Major USMC

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Sergeant Major Alford L. McMichael

14th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corp

Sergeant Major Alford L. McMichaelSergeant Major Alford L. McMichael (pictured at left, Official USMC Photo) was named as the 14th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps on June 4, 1999. A posting and relief ceremony with retiring Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Lewis G. Lee will take place June 28 at Marine Barracks Washington. He will become the first African American to hold the post since it was established in 1957.

Sergeant Major Alford L. McMichael was born in Hot Springs, Ark. He enlisted in the Marine Corps on Aug. 27, 1970, and attended boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. After completing Infantry Training School and Basic Infantry Training at Camp Pendleton, Calif., McMichael was assigned to Marine Barracks, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Upon completion of this tour he transferred to 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines.

In 1974, McMichael returned to Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego where he served as a drill instructor, series gunnery sergeant, and battalion drill master. His next assignment was with 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division.

Transferred to the 3rd Marine Division in 1978, he served as a shore party chief with 3rd Division Support Group. In January 1979, McMichael received orders to Marine Security Guard School and, upon completion of school, was assigned to the American Embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 1981, he returned to Quantico as an instructor at Marine Security Guard School.

In 1983 McMichael was assigned to the University of Minnesota where he served as the Assistant Marine Officer Instructor for the NROTC Program. Upon completion of this assignment, he reported to Officer Candidates School, Quantico, Va., as a company first sergeant.

After completing the Staff Noncommissioned Officer Academy Advanced Course, McMichael was assigned to Okinawa, Japan, as the first sergeant of Company C, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion. In 1986, he was ordered to Marine Barracks, Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, as the barracks' first sergeant.

From August 1988 to May 1989, he served as the deputy director of the Staff NCO Academy, Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, Calif., and then as its director until May 1991, when he was assigned as the Sergeant Major of Officer Candidates School.

Returning to Okinawa in 1994, McMichael served as the Sergeant Major of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. In July 1995, he was assigned as the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing Sergeant Major.

In January 1997, Sgt. Maj. McMichael was assigned to his current post as the Manpower and Reserve Affairs Sergeant Major, Headquarters Marine Corps.

Sergeant Major McMichael's personal decorations include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with gold star, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold star, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with gold star.

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