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U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Tracey D. Nicholson, a Virginia native, outgoing sergeant major of Marine Corps Cyberspace Operations Group, holds a United States flag during a retirement ceremony on Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, February 15, 2024. MCCOG executes Marine Corps Department of Defense Information Network Operations and Marine Corps Defensive Cyberspace Operations to enhance freedom of action across warfighting domains while denying the efforts of adversaries by degradation or disruption via cyberspace operations. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. David Brandes)

Photo by Lance Cpl. David Brandes

The first MCCOG sergeant major retires after 30 years of service

22 Feb 2024 | Lance Cpl. Joaquin Carlos Dela Torre Marine Corps Base Quantico

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANITCO, Va. – The first sergeant major of Marine Corps Cyberspace Operations Group was relieved of her duties during a relief and appointment ceremony at The Clubs of Quantico here, Feb. 15, 2024.

“The best part of my time as the MCCOG’s Sergeant Major was learning from leaders who retired or transition from the military,” Sgt. Maj. Tracey D. Nicholson stated. “I enjoyed conversing with the Marines about their ambitions and goals … I couldn’t ask for a better group of individuals to serve.”

Nicholson, who a grew up in Newport News, Virginia, retired after 30 years of honorable service, passing on her responsibilities to Sgt. Maj. Brian A. Woodruff.

She credits God and her mentors for her success and who she became as a leader.

“My leaders never shut down an idea, but rather, encourage us to voice our opinion,” she said. “They instilled in me, confidence, strength, and wisdom.”
She continued to say that Brown’s leadership is “exactly what MCCOG needs.”

“He’s a leader who allows his Marines to lead,” she said. “He’s open-minded, fair, firm, and treats everyone with dignity.”

Upon his appointment, Woodruff expressed his excitement to be back in his primary field, as he used to be a communications data Marine. His goal is to inspire his Marines and bring purpose into their lives; to revitalize the motivation akin to the exceptional experience of receiving the Eagle, Globe and Anchor.

“I’m going to continue to harness my position as senior enlisted advisor to insight that motivation, especially going into the challenges that society and technology is throwing at us,” Woodruff said. “I want to get to know everyone in this big group … The sun doesn’t set on MCCOG.”

As the ceremony closed, Nicholson shared her thoughts on leaving the Marine Corps after her service, citing how “few have tried and succeeded.”

“I will take away pride, strength, memories, and an elite group of Marines with whom I call family and share an unspoken bond that will remain with me for the rest of my life,” she explained. “I fought for freedom, now it’s time to enjoy my freedom.”

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