NAVAL STATION MAYPORT, Fla., April 15, 2014 —
The senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff today completed his command visit here by conducting an all-service, interactive panel of commissioned and noncommissioned officers ready to answer questions from local Junior ROTC cadets.
Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia invited dozens of high school students to get first-hand, candid information about different career paths among the service branches as they prepare to make post-graduation decisions.
“We wanted to enable panelists to engage with these students to broaden their horizons and show them there are many opportunities in life, even if they don’t choose the military as an initial career path,” Battaglia said.
The sergeant major said that should the future total force enlistees adhere to their commitments, their road to success brings myriad possibilities.
“You can always educate yourself, and it doesn’t have to be in an academic school environment,” he told the cadets. “Walk through life with an open mind and wide aperture about what new things you can learn. When you have intelligence, people want to be around you.”
Cadets asked the panelists what made them join the military, and the answers varied from education to wanting to see the world.
“The goal we all have in common is wanting success, and no matter what color uniform, it can have your name on it. You can succeed,” Battaglia said.
The sergeant major also acknowledged his jobs have run the gamut, from cleaning toilets to his tenure as the senior enlisted advisor to the nation’s top-ranking military officer.
“It was all about discipline for me,” he said. “Learning to do a job well has served me at all levels, and joining the military was the perfect stepping stone for that.”
The sergeant major asked each panelist to use one word to describe their motivation to join the military. Each panelist answered, respectively: purpose, pride, duty, freedom and integrity.
The panelists were Navy Cmdr. Chris Richard, Coast Guard Senior Chief Petty Officer Eric Kroll, Army Master Sgt. Terrence Hayes, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Colin Seeley and Air Force Airman Steve Merritt.
(Follow Amaani Lyle on Twitter: @LyleAFPS)