MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Miguel A. Ortega relinquished his post as sergeant major of Marine Aircraft Group 12 during a relief and appointment ceremony at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, March 8, 2018.
Ortega relinquished his duties to Sgt. Maj. Michael Johnson.
U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Mitchell Maury, executive officer for MAG-12, only worked with Ortega for seven months but quickly recognized what he had to offer.
“It was evident that he absolutely loves working with Marines and loves the Corps,” said Maury. “We were fortunate to have someone with his diverse background who could share his ground-combat element and Marine Security Guard experiences and perspective. Sgt. Maj. Ortega will be remembered as a high-energy motivational leader who was never afraid to speak his mind.”
Ortega was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for the fourth time during the ceremony. Other personal awards he has received throughout his career include, the Navy Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with four Gold Stars.
Ortega is headed to Marine Corps base Camp Pendleton, California, where he is scheduled to be appointed as the sergeant major of Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division.
“I believe this is the best MAG unit in the Marine Corps,” said Ortega “My advice for Sgt. Maj. Johnson is to continue the legacy of MAG-12 by taking care of his Marines.”
Johnson is coming to MAG-12 from Recruiting Station Atlanta, Georgia, where he served as the recruiting station sergeant major from January 2016 to March 2018.
Johnson said he looks forward to the relationships he is going to make and his time with MAG-12. Johnson then spoke to the Marines about being prepared to fight and win.
“It’s not only accomplishing our mission, it’s the preparation to get there,” said Johnson. “That’s what I am looking at, and I want to make sure we’re successful.”