MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. -- “Every day that you’re allowed to serve is literally a gift; treasure that gift that you get every day.”
The face of Sergeant Major Anthony A. Spadaro, the off-going 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing sergeant major, absolutely lights up when he recounts his stint as the Wing’s go-to guy.
Spadaro’s tour came to an end during a relief ceremony aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif. on July 12.
He began his tour as right-hand-man to the commanding general of 3rd MAW on August 11, 2011. During his time, Spadaro has gained a new perspective on trusting and empowering his Marines.
“From the CG, I learned to think big, because the Marines will make it happen everywhere,” he said.
Perhaps his most significant legacy is his work with the committed and engaged leadership initiative. Created by Maj. Gen. Steven W. Busby, 3rd MAW commanding general, the initiative empowers noncommissioned officers to think outside of the box when it comes to leading Marines. Spadaro is very proud of the committed and engaged leadership campaign and his noncommissioned officers, but he is most excited about the future of the Wing.
“That’s the most important thing right now; what we’re doing for our future, and what committed and engaged leadership does is it ensures a future for our Corps,” said Spadaro. “I'm entirely proud of it. This is General Busby’s vision and we're seeing it. I think the Marines are seeing it and it's inspiring.”
The oncoming 3rd MAW sergeant major has not yet been named. While he did not physically pass the sword of office on, Spadaro has high expectations of his replacement.
“Yes, I’m leaving them a full plate, but it’s a full plate that they are going to relish and they're going to dive right in,” he said. “General Busby said it best - there’s no such thing as a challenge; only opportunities. You’ve got to take the opportunities and make the opportunity work.”
Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North will welcome Spadaro as their newest sergeant major.
“I leave happy and ecstatic over my next billet, but it’s also bittersweet,” he said. “Leaving the 3rd MAW family... is a little disconcerting.”