RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- Everyone who works at the Office of the Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard, had the opportunity to interact with Sgt. Maj. Marc Stevenson, senior enlisted adviser. Upon his departure, he will be missed by all the military and civilians that worked with him.
In November 2016, Stevenson was one of many sergeants major who went through the nominative process of being screened, interviewed and ultimately selected to serve as the senior enlisted adviser to Program Manager Maj. Gen. Frank Muth.
"He was the perfect fit for this organization and unique mission," Muth said.
Stevenson said, "I was selected to be the person to advise the program manager on all enlisted matters, but I found out you actually start advising others, including the deputy program manager, the chief of staff, assistant program managers, other officers, and even civilians on a variety of issues. It seemed everyone wanted my opinion and guidance."
Stevenson enjoyed the interaction with everyone and was always happy to share his thoughts on a variety of issues.
Stevenson did not have a Saudi counterpart that he worked one on one with; rather, his interaction was with the chief military officer of the Saudi Arabian National Guard.
"I was assisting with the intent and agenda of the program manager. We did engage the Saudi leadership on their Warrior Leader Course and the importance of the noncommissioned officer's role to the SANG mission," he said.
According to Stevenson, there are many advantages to working for OPM-SANG. "The people are the best part -- I would like to get the chance to see the changeover in the next year when the new command team gets here. The great thing about Maj. Gen. Muth is that he gives intent and left/right limits; he truly practices mission command. Many preach it but don't execute it -- he does," he said.
"Professionally, I grew immensely from this assignment, from the charge d 'affairs and the embassy team, to the OPM-SANG leadership, I learned how things operate and understand the bigger picture," Stevenson said.
His co-workers say they will always think about his infectious smile as they remember all of his other achievements and legacy he leaves at OPM-SANG.
"I hope I made a difference in that I broke the standard sergeant major role. I hope people realize that you can smile, be curious, and still get the intent done," Stevenson said.
Stevenson departed Saudi Arabia for his next assignment as the command sergeant major of U.S. Army 1st Battalion 4th Infantry Regiment OP4 in Hohenfeld Germany.
"I had a great time at OPM-SANG," he said. "I wish I could be assigned here again."