Being a Marine goes past the uniform, haircuts and swagger. It’s a whole Marine concept. They are a group of exceptional human beings who embody the Corps’ ethos of honor, courage, and commitment.
U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. James L. Robertson, sergeant major of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, came face-to-face with his passion for the Marine Corps about 35 years ago, during his school’s family career day. As soon as the Marine recruiter stepped into the room and introduced himself to the class, Robertson was sold.
“He was articulate,” said Robertson. “He stood out the most out of everyone in the room. From that point on I knew I always wanted to be a Marine.”
At the age of 17, Robertson swore in to the delayed entry program and shipped out June 1996, a year later, to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. He was able to acquire the military occupational specialty (MOS) of his choice, 0352 Anti-tank Assault Guided Missile man, after graduating from the School of Infantry in December 1996.
“I love the Marine Corps and I liked what I was doing,” said Robertson.
Originally, Robertson didn’t plan on re-enlisting, he wanted to become a Deputy U.S. Marshal. However, after speaking to a recruiting officer, he found out that the dates he would get out of the Marine Corps didn’t match the dates they openly hire. So Robertson continued to live his childhood dream as a Marine and received Inspector-Instructor duty shortly after. Inspector-Instructor duty places active duty Marines in reserve units to assist with the unit’s readiness.
“It was an interesting gig,” Robertson said. “It was something different. It was something I haven’t seen yet. I got a different side of the Marine Corps.”
As time went on, his desire of being a Deputy U.S. Marshal slowly disappeared and his love for the Marine Corps grew. Robertson experienced multiple deployments as he advanced in billet and rank. He was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and U.S Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Robertson said the Marine Corps benefited not only his personal and professional growth, but benefitted all who have served in the corps.
“Every Marine is gonna get their eagle, globe, and anchor tattooed on their souls forever, you’re living the transformation of a Marine,” said Robertson. “You have accepted our values, our culture, and our way of life.”
Robertson just recently took the command position of installation sergeant major for Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, on Dec. 5, 2019. He previously was the sergeant major for Combat Logistics Battalion 1, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California.
“I truly believe in honor, courage, and commitment,” said Robertson. “It is very important and it is not just a punch line.”
Since his arrival, he’s been learning more about the station’s mission, its Marines and Sailors, and what he could do to help the directorate achieve their end goal.
“My intention for this station is for it to be the best place for tenant commands, Marines, Sailors and their families,” said Robertson.