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Chairman’s Senior Enlisted Advisor Visits Virginia-Based Sailors

By Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Thomas Gagnier
U.S. Fleet Forces Command

Army Command Sgt. Maj. John W. Troxell, the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met with sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS George Washington and the dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall berthed here, March 23.

At an all-hands call aboard the George Washington, Troxell highlighted Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford’s priorities: restoring joint readiness, improving joint warfighting, and developing leaders for Joint Force Next -- the chairman’s term for a future force that has the training, education, and experience at all levels to meet the demands of the future operating environment.

Improving Interoperability

“We improve joint forces interoperability by bettering our ability to communicate from the air, to the water, to the ground.” Troxell said. “Doing this prepares the military as a whole to better defend the nation and be globally responsive.”

To accomplish interoperability, Troxell emphasized a desire to develop enlisted leaders early to joint educational possibilities.

“We need to expose our junior noncommissioned officers and petty officers sooner to better opportunities for joint education.” Troxell said. “What we get by broadening that leader is a better asset to the service as well as the joint force.”

Troxell ended his meeting by trading an Army “Hooah” for a rousing Navy “Hooyah” from the George Washington’s crew.

Troxell later engaged the crew of the Gunston Hall, docked at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, in a town hall meeting on the mess decks. Troxell once again presented the chairman’s priorities and fielded several questions.

Sailors’ Feedback

“It was great to see and hear from senior enlisted at the highest level, and hear what their idea and vision of us as leaders at the deck plate level is.” said Gunston Hall crew member Navy Petty Officer 1st Class John Day.

Gunston Hall Command Master Chief Petty Officer Samuel J. Robinson said he appreciated Troxell’s visit.

"It was refreshing to hear that the Joint Staff shares so many goals and values with the fleet,” Robinson said. “SEAC Troxell energized my crew by laying out real and practical expectations for leaders in today's Joint environment. I feel that SEAC's visit to a warship in the shipyard shows that our top leadership understands what it takes to be relevant and realistic."

Troxell serves as the principal military advisor to the chairman and the Secretary of Defense on all matters involving joint and combined total force integration, utilization, health of the force and joint development for enlisted personnel.