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3d Marine Division

The Fighting Third

Okinawa, Japan
CALTRAP Sergeant Major Passes the Sword

By 1st Lt. Brett Vannier | 3rd Marine Division | July 15, 2020

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OKINAWA, Japan – Sgt. Maj. Dennis M. Bradley transfers the responsibility as the Sergeant Major for 3rd Marine Division to Sgt. Maj. Eric D. Cook on July 15, 2020 at the Division Headquarters on Camp Courtney.

“Today is a special day as we recognize the exceptional leadership Sergeant Major Bradley has provided the Division throughout his time as CALTRAP-9,” said Maj. Gen. Jurney, Commanding General of 3rd Marine Division. “It is even more special because we also recognize his 30 years of dedicated service to our Corps as he transitions to retire. It has been an absolute honor and privilege to serve alongside such a professional senior leader. Sergeant Major Bradley has truly set the course and speed for the entire team within ‘The Fighting Third’ and done the same throughout his career which will continue to have lasting impacts for generations of Marines and Sailors who follow.”

Sergeant Major Bradley enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1990. During the first 17 years in the Marine Corps and before posting as First Sergeant of 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, Bradley was a Cannoneer, Drill Instructor, and Assistant Marine Officer Instructor at the United States Naval Academy. His service included deployments to the Mediterranean, Iraq and Afghanistan. Prior to his arrival to 3rd Marine Division, Bradley served as the Command Senior Enlisted Leader for Joint Task Force Guantanamo. In addition to leading Marines and Sailors of Division, Bradley was instrumental in orienting the division on future operating concepts outlined in the Commandant’s Planning Guidance, culminating 30 years of service.

“If you asked me what my goals were in the Marine Corps when I reenlisted for the first time in 1993, I would have told you it was to be a rifle company First Sergeant,” Bradley said. “I achieved that with Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment. At that time if you asked me what my dream job was, I would have said to retire after 30 years of service as a division Sergeant Major, but that’ll never happen. It has been a huge honor being here and seeing what the Marines, Sailors, and families of this division accomplish.” 

Since 1875, the noncommissioned officer sword has been carried by enlisted Marines as a symbol of their ability and prestige as enlisted leaders of the Marine Corps. Historically the Sergeant Major, as the senior enlisted leader and advisor, is the keeper of traditions for his or her unit.

To minimize the large gathering of those who would have attended the ceremony, both Sergeants Major decided to transfer the sword of office without formations or the full traditional ceremony.  After a simple passing of the sword, Cook will now carry on the critical tasks and responsibilities as Sergeant Major of 3rd Marine Division.

"As an infantryman, there’s no better place to be a Sergeant Major than a division, especially one with such an illustrious history,” Cook explained. “I’m looking forward to being a part of this team as we continue to do great things.”

“It has been an absolute honor to serve the nation for three decades and to occupy the same grid square as some of the best men and women the nation can offer,” said Bradley.

Farewell and following seas to Sgt. Maj. Bradley and welcome to the CALTRAP Division, Sgt. Maj. Cook.

3rd Marine Division continues.


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