FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii- Soldiers and leaders filled several sets of bleachers
at Historic Palm Circle as Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the 18th Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, addressed the audience during a town hall meeting
June 30.

Dempsey's trip to U.S. Army Pacific's Headquarters for a town hall meeting
was sparked by his arrival for the beginning Rim of Pacific 2014 Exercise,
one of the largest international maritime exercises. The meeting provided
him a chance to listen to Soldiers' concerns in the Pacific and answer
questions related to those concerns.

Before the town hall meeting began, Dempsey presented eight U.S. Army
Pacific Soldiers with coins of excellence. Staff Sgt. Brandon Williams, a
paralegal noncommissioned officer with Headquarters and Support Company,
USARPAC, received a coin for being Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion
Noncommissioned Officer of the year. Staff Sgt. Frankie Williams, 311th Signal Command, received recognition as 311th Signal Command NCO of the Year. Staff Sgt. James Chapman, a global force network manager with HSC, USARPAC, received recognition because his job is typically held by a major or higher. Sgt. Brian Wimpenny was HHBn USARPAC Noncommissioned Officer of the Quarter. Spc. Christina Williams was 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command Soldier of the Year. Pfc. Weng Ong was 8th Theater Sustainment Command Soldier of the
Year. Spc. Thomas Boyd, 500th Military Intelligence Brigade, is the USARPAC Soldier of the Year. Pfc. Brian Beeg, 5th Battlefield Coordination Detachment, was recognized for his exceptional performance with partnered nations during his last three joint training exercises.

During the town hall meeting, Dempsey talked about the significance of
USARPAC in the Pacific along with its historic past, and the rebalance of
the Pacific region. He mentioned how important USARPAC was in providing
security for the region. Dempsey also said that his most important message
and the best part of his visit was thanking the Soldiers for the service and

"I'm proud to have served with each and all of you. I admire what all of you
and family member have done here," said Dempsey. "You all are making a big
difference out here in the Pacific and it doesn't go unnoticed."

As the town hall proceeded the questions varied in topics. Dempsey answered
a few questions about how the budget will affect Soldier's pay, if all
branches of service would wear the same uniform, how to financially plan for
life after the military, and how to get the most out of a military career.

"People often say to me 'how do you balance your life in this profession of
ours which asks us to do extraordinary things on short notice,'" said
Dempsey. "I can't answer this question for you; I can only answer this
question for myself. The truth is, you have to find in your own family and
in your own life, your own balance."

Dempsey stated service members would feel better and have a more fulfilling
career once they are able to balance their professional lives and family
lives. Service members who find balance won't feel like they are cheating
either element of their lives.

As the town hall concluded, Dempsey again thanked the USARPAC Soldiers for
their hard work, dedication and encouraged everyone to continue to give
their maximum effort even in times of uncertainty.