Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman (SEAC) is a distinct military position and rank within the United States Department of Defense and is designated the senior noncommissioned officer in the United States Armed Forces. The SEAC is appointed by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) to serve as an advisor to the Chairman on all matters involving joint and combined total force integration, utilization, health of the force, and joint development for enlisted personnel. The SEAC also serves as a spokesperson to leaders and organizations on applicable issues affecting the total enlisted force. At the discretion of the Chairman, the SEAC’s exact duties may vary, though the SEAC generally devotes much time traveling throughout the Department of Defense observing education, training and communicating to the total force, (active, reserve, retirees, veterans and military families). The SEAC’s tour of duty is normally 2 years and runs in conjunction with the Chairman’s tenure. The incumbent SEAC may be reappointed for additional service.
The SEAC maintains oversight, focus, and responsibility in any area that the Chairman and Secretary of Defense may direct. In doing so, the SEAC represents the enlisted voice during meetings with leaders ranging from the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), to the civilian community to Service leaders of other nations. Though not in the immediate chain of command, the SEAC serves as a vital conduit from the Chairman and the Secretary of Defense to the Service Senior Enlisted Advisors (SEAs) and the Combatant Command, Command Senior Enlisted Leaders (COCOM CSELs) to all enlisted members throughout the total force.
Additionally, the SEAC is in the Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) communication chain. During visits to Joint Operational Areas, posts and bases, the SEAC identifies issues that holistically affect enlisted service members, retirees, and DoD families. The SEAC harmonizes and integrates common solutions across the service branches to increase the readiness, effectiveness, efficiencies, and health/welfare of the total force.
Specifically, the SEAC:
- Provides assessments, recommendations, and feedback to the Chairman, Vice Chairman, and Deputies to the CJCS on standards, professional development, advancement, pay, promotions, quality of life and health of the force, joint awards, and other areas which affect the total force.
- In cooperation with the Director, J-7, the SEAC co-manages the Total Force Fitness Program.
- Helps develop and enhance Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education (EJPME) in conjunction with the Enlisted Professional Military Education Program (EPMEP) CJCSI 1805.01 series, and serves on the Keystone annual review panel.
- Represents U.S. Armed Forces interests at various international senior enlisted conferences and seminars through national strategic level engagement, and building partnership capacity with partner nations and international allies.
- Co-chairs the Enlisted Military Education Review Council (EMERC) in cooperation with the EPMEP.
- Consults with and seeks the advice of the Service SEAs and COCOM CSELs on all issues pertaining to joint service members.
- Chairs and facilitates the bi-annual Defense Senior Enlisted Leader Conferences (DSELC) with Service SEAs and COCOM CSELs.
- In cooperation with the Director, J-1, assists in collecting/vetting nominations supporting the slating process of COCOM CSELs and other senior enlisted U.S.
nominative joint billets to include various international positions.
- Enhances utilization of senior NCOs on joint battle staffs.