NEWS | April 27, 2018

31st Marine Expeditionary Unit Sergeant Major Relinquishes Word of Office, Mota Assumes Duties

By Lance Cpl. Jonah Baase 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit  

CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa, Japan -- Sgt. Maj. Jim Lanham relinquished the sword of office as the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) sergeant major to Sgt. Maj. Edwin A. Mota during a post and relief ceremony at Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan, April 27, 2018. Lanham is slated to assume duties as 12th Marine Corps District sergeant major.

“Sgt. Maj. Lanham epitomizes what a staff noncommissioned officers need to be in the Marine Corps,” said Col. Tye R. Wallace, commanding officer of the 31st MEU. “I just can’t thank him enough for what he’s done for the MEU family.”

Lanham assumed duty as the 31st MEU sergeant major on Aug. 10, 2016. As sergeant major, he served as the senior enlisted advisor to the 31st MEU commanding officer, while managing logistics, troop movements and serving as a bridge between the enlisted Marines and their commanding officer.

During the ceremony, Lanham thanked the Marines and Sailors of the 31st MEU for their hard work and motivation during his tenure as the 31st MEU senior enlisted advisor.

“It’s been a pleasure working with the Marines and Sailors of the 31st MEU,” said Lanham. “It’s been a true journey and if I could I would do it all over again.”

During Lanham’s time as sergeant major, the 31st MEU participated in a series of multilateral exercises across the Indo-Pacific region, including Exercise Talisman Saber in Australia, Philippine Amphibious Landing Exercise in the Philippines, Valiant Shield in Guam and Cobra Gold in Thailand. Lanham also helped lead the 31st MEU through pre-deployment and certification exercises for four patrols of the Indo-Pacific region.

Mota previously served as 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion sergeant major.

“I know I have big shoes to fill,” said Mota. “I will do my best and give one hundred percent for the Marines and Sailors of the 31st MEU.”