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Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan

MCAS Iwakuni is a mission-ready air station, capable of providing continuous base-operating support for tenant organizations and follow-on U.S. and allied forces during training, combat or contingency (HA/DR) operations throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific region.
Bats welcome new sergeant major

By Lance Cpl. Joseph Abrego | Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan | August 14, 2016

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Residents and Marines gathered at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, to witness the relief of U.S Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Jason L. Kappen as sergeant major for Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242, Aug. 12, 2016.

Sgt. Maj. Jason L. Kappen, outbound sergeant major of VMFA(AW)-242, relinquished his duties to Sgt. Maj. James L. Shadle.

“The deployments, and watching the Marines as they continued to meet every expectation – and then some – has been the highlight of my time with VMFA(AW)-242,” said Kappen.

Kappen said after working with VMFA(AW)-242 also known as the “Bats,” he will always remember the Marines’ commitment to mission accomplishment regardless of circumstances and can’t wait to see what Shadle does with the unit.

“We’re cut from the same cloth, so I’m pretty excited to have someone who’s like my twin with the same thought process taking over,” said Kappen. “I know the Marines are going to be well taken care of.”

Shadle is coming to VMFA(AW)-242 from Bangkok, Thailand, where he served as the Region 3 first sergeant with the East Asia and Pacific, Marine Corps Embassy Security Group.

“The squadron has a rich aviation history, so it’s an honor to be here,” said Shadle. “It’s going to be an amazing experience for me. The F/A-18 Hornets are amazing pieces of machinery, so it’s going to be an honor just to be around them.”

Shadle said he expects to gain more experience by learning from his Marines and become a more well-rounded staff noncommissioned officer.

“Kappen left the squadron in good standing,” said Shadle. “I don’t think I’m going to have to do much. My main goal is keeping the squadron headed toward success and they’re already on the right track. I’m going to make sure that my Marines have good morale, want to come to work, enjoy being here, and make sure that my Marines find success.”

Lt. Col Jabari Reneau, commanding officer for VMFA(AW)-242 saw Kappen off and welcomed his new sergeant major.

“Kappen has been one of those individuals who I could rely on without thinking about it,” said Reneau. “I knew he always had the squadron’s best interest at heart. He is a selfless individual, he is a Marines’ Marine.

With Shadle’s expertise, experiences and knowledge, Reneau said he’s excited to welcome the new senior enlisted Marine to the squadron.


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