Sgt. Maj. Steven M. Burkett, the top enlisted Marine at the School of Infantry-West, was formally relieved of his duties on July 13, due to a “loss of trust and confidence” in his abilities. The decision was confirmed by Maj. Joshua Pena, a spokesman for Marine Corps Training Command, who mentioned that a preliminary inquiry had been conducted. The specific details of the inquiry are not publicly releasable, according to the Marine Corps’ public records office. Burkett, who enlisted in 1994, held three world records in kettlebell swinging and was recognized as the 2022 male athlete of the year at his California Marine base.
- Relieving of Duties: Sgt. Maj. Steven M. Burkett was relieved of his duties by Col. Seth MacCutcheon, the commanding officer of School of Infantry-West. The reason cited was a loss of trust and confidence in Burkett’s ability to perform his duties.
- Preliminary Inquiry: A preliminary inquiry was conducted into the matter, but details are not publicly available. The Marine Corps’ public records office has stated that it would not begin a search for the inquiry or confirm its existence.
- School of Infantry-West: Based at Camp Pendleton, California, the School of Infantry-West is one of two places where new Marines receive additional schooling. Sgt. Maj. Joseph Powers is now serving as the interim sergeant major of the school.
- Burkett’s Background: Enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1994, Burkett served in various roles, including as an embassy security guard and on deployments to Iraq and Mongolia. He holds three world records in kettlebell swinging and was recently honored as the 2022 male athlete of the year at his base.