The Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Command Sgt. Maj. John Wayne Troxell visited White Sands Missile Range April 11 and held a Tri-Service town hall to introduce the Joint Chief of Staff’s priorities and goals.
“We’re going to have some growth in our Armed Services as we move forward,” Troxell said. “We’re going to have that credible readiness we need.”
He said all branches of service will see significant growth over the next five years in terms of combat training centers, tactical fighter squadrons and ships. His visit to WSMR consisted of a Cox Range Control center tour followed by a Tri-Service command overview, a windshield tour, the town hall with WSMR enlisted personnel and a working lunch. Troxell said 75 percent of his job is made up of visiting installations and service members.
WSMR Command Sgt. Maj. William Maddox led the tour. He said his goal was to introduce the many facilities and capabilities at WSMR.
“You really don’t know everything WSMR does and has to offer to service members and their families until you come here and see it. My intent was to show him that,” Maddox said. “After his visit, he said he had no idea there was this much here at WSMR. I believe he walked away with a good understanding of what we do at WSMR.”
During the town hall Troxell spoke about his role at the Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s visions and missions.
“I have to understand that I’m the voice for all of you,” Troxell said. “If I can’t communicate your message then I’m probably not the right guy for the job.”
His primary focus during the town hall was to highlight the idea of joint inter-operability and how it is key in the way ahead for the military.
“He is right, we’ll never fight alone,” Maddox said. “We’ve got to continue to maintain that relationship with other services and understand that we’re all on the same team moving toward the same goal.”
Troxell said more development programs are necessary in order to succeed in joint interoperability. Joint interoperability and developmental programs can help develop best practices that can be adopted throughout all services.
“Get out of your comfort zone,” he said. “Be comfortable with being uncomfortable and just start building the team. What makes us the number one military in the world is what we do to train, educate and empower. In the end all of this is going to be multi-service.”
He also emphasized the importance of making time from training and leader developmental programs.
“It’s all about the programs that help us sustain our edge,” Troxell said.
He said it is much more beneficial to let that one service member miss out on an exercise in order to allow him or her to be certified and trained to complete a new task. The excuse should never be that there wasn’t enough time to allow a service member to complete a program of interest.
“This is what we do, we train, educate and certify,” Troxell said. “We build trust into that person to execute the mission. That’s building on our absolute greatest advantage. We’ve got to provide the best training and education environment.”
Troxell also focused on how newly-enlisted service members should not be held to a higher standard than their leadership in terms of misconduct. He said during his time in his position he’s sat in on misconduct hearings and 99 percent of the time there would be a group of family and friends coming in as character witnesses for senior leaders and lower enlisted service members would show up on their own.
“We shouldn’t ask anything less of the leadership,” Troxell said. “Shouldn’t I have a level of expectation for someone who has been in the military for 20 to 25 years?”
After the town hall Troxell held a question and answer session and took some time to award distinguished service members from each military branch at WSMR. Troxell’s tour ended with a working lunch held with key military leaders from WSMR.
“Never underestimate how important you are to the mission and enjoy what you do,” Troxell said. “Continue to strive and grow. We can’t afford to lose one of you.”