MCLB Albany Base Sergeant Major Retires after 30 Years of Service to Corps, Nation

Nathan Hanks

Monday, March 20th, 2017

Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Agee, former sergeant major, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, retires from active-duty during a retirement ceremony at the Chapel of the Good Shepherd, March 16.


Family members, local dignitaries, Marines, civilian-Marines and friends honored Agee as he ended a 30-year career serving the Marine Corps and nation.  


Agee is a native of Lakeland, Florida, and has been serving the Marines of MCLB Albany since May 23, 2014.


Col. James C. Carroll III, commanding officer, MCLB Albany, the retiring officer, gave Agee many accolades for his service.


“Where do you start to some up at 30 year career?” Carroll asked. “Sergeant Major Agee is steeped in leadership and warrior ethos. Everything you gave throughout (your) 30 years has culminated here in Albany, which has been a huge benefit for those here and beyond.”


Carroll cited two recent events where Agee’s guidance proved critical to the success of MCLB Albany; the tornado that struck the warehouse district Jan. 22, and the 6,000 recruits and permanent personnel from Parris Island, South Carolina, that evacuated to Albany as a result of Hurricane Matthew.


“Sergeant Major Agee was critical to receiving all those recruits and permanent personnel, making sure they had everything they need to be successful while they were here to continue their training,” he added.


Carroll called Agee, “the man, the Marine and the mentor.”


“We are all better as a result of Sergeant Major Agee’s service,” he said. “He is a professional in terms of holding the line when it comes to customs, courtesies and traditions.


“We say farewell to a giant whom we have been blessed to walk the halls and walk the grounds of our Corps with for 30 years.”


Agee acknowledged and thanked his family, civilian directors and staff members, local dignitaries, guests and Marines, for attending the ceremonies.


"You know, it's hard to believe it has been 29-plus years since I put this uniform on for the first time," Agee said. "To say my career has been anything less than rewarding would be inadequate."


According to Agee, he has had the opportunity to serve in all elements of the Marine Air Ground Task Force, all of which have provided different views of the Marine Corps. 


"This assignment, here in Albany, has played an important role in preparing me for my next assignment, which of course, is retirement," he continued.


Agee then spoke of when he joined the Marine Corps.  


"I am thankful I am no longer the 18-year-old that first put the Marine uniform on back in June of 1987," he said. "As I reflect, I've come to understand it's the entire Marine Corps family - past and present – who helped me get to this point. No one gets through a Marine Corps career without the help of others - those above you, those of lesser grades, and of course, your peers.


"My career has been a success; due, in part, to the efforts of the Marines you see standing behind me and the officers and SNCOs sitting amongst you today," Agee stated.


He thanked Brig. Gen. Thomas D. Weidley, commanding general, Marine Corps Installations East, and Carroll for affording him the opportunity to serve at MCLB Albany.


"Colonel Carroll, sir, thank you for the leadership you provide to this command," he expressed. "Thank you for the latitude you have given me to perform the duties of my office. And on behalf of the Marines and civilian-Marines, thank you for the respect you have shown all of us."


Agee then turned toward Higdon, welcoming him and wishing him well at his new assignment.


"I have no doubt that you stand ready for this challenge and this next chapter of your life," he added. "I wish you and your family the best. May God give you strength and bless you with wisdom and grace as you execute your duties."


Agee thanked his guests and family members for attending and sharing this special time with him.


Finally, he concluded his comments addressing the Marines of the command.


"Two years ago I presented you with two challenges," he said. "The first was that you govern your actions with honor, courage and commitment.  The second was that you take care of one another.

You've done that!   


"Warriors, I know you will now welcome my successor, Sergeant Major Higdon, with open arms and continue demonstrating those great qualities all Marines are charged with on a daily basis," he concluded. "Thank you for all the hard work you've all done in preparing for today's ceremony. Take care of yourselves, Semper Fidelis and Godspeed."


During the ceremony, Agee received the Legion of Merit, certificates from former-President Barack H. Obama, Gen. Robert B. Neller, 37th commandant of the Marine Corps, and Sgt. Maj. Ronald L. Green, 18th sergeant major of the Marine Corps, a certificate of retirement and an American flag.


Transfer of Authority: MCLB Albany Welcomes New Sergeant Major


The passing of a noncommissioned officer's sword symbolizes the transfer of senior staff noncommissioned officer authority.


This took place aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany as Col. James C. Carroll III, commanding officer, MCLB Albany, received the noncommissioned officer’s sword from Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Agee, outgoing sergeant major, and handed it to Sgt. Maj. Johnny L. Higdon during a post and relief ceremony at the Chapel of the Good Shepherd, March 16.


This completed the transfer of duties making Higdon MCLB Albany's new senior enlisted advisor. 


Carroll said he looked forward to serving with Higdon.


“It's an absolute pleasure to have you joining our team,” Carroll said. “Everything you have done as a recruiter, company gunnery sergeant, company first sergeant and a sergeant major at the (Inspector-Instructor) and (Recruiting Station) has uniquely equipped you to take over the reins here as the sergeant major for the installation.


“We look forward to learning from your vast experience and wisdom,” he added.


Higdon, a native of Thomasville, Georgia, comes to MCLB Albany after serving as the Inspector-

Instructor sergeant major for 4th Combat Engineer Battalion in Baltimore, Maryland.


“As you look out in the audience, I have friends and family that have known me my entire life,” Higdon said. “I have Marines that I have served with from my time as a private up to sergeant major. Thank you all for sharing yet another milestone in my career.


“Each of you are responsible for the person you see here today,” he added. “Please continue to support me as I set off on another chapter of my Marine Corps career.”


Higdon then addressed MCLB Albany Marines and civilian-Marines.


“You all have done an amazing job with accomplishing the mission here and supporting the Marine Corps warfighting effort,” he said. “I am proud and honored to be a part of a winning team.”


He also thanked Carroll for the opportunity to serve the Marines and civilian-Marines of MCLB Albany and Agee for a smooth turnover, wishing him good luck in his future endeavors.


Agee welcomed Higdon wishing him well in his new assignment.


"I have no doubt that you stand ready for this challenge and this next chapter of your life," he added. "I wish you and your family the best. May God give you strength and bless you with wisdom and grace as you execute your duties."