MONS, Belgium -- Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff hosted a joint All Hands meeting with servicemembers during his visit to SHAPE April 28.Command Sgt. Maj. John Wayne Troxell serves as a principal military advisor to the Chairman and the Secretary of Defense and is tasked with building a team of service senior enlisted."It's a real treat to be here at SHAPE headquarters and to visit one of the most important organizations we have in our multinational alliance with NATO," he said.
One of Troxell's main lines of operation during these visits is to gain and maintain the pulse of the joint force, he said.
"I spend as much time with Sailors, Airmen, and Marines as I do with Soldiers," he said. "This is what I'm most passionate about. I have a responsibility to be your voice in the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill, and at the White House."At the All Hands he talked about improving warfighter readiness and addressing some issues the military has had to defer on in the last 16 years due to the high operational tempo. One of the top priorities, he said, is to build a more capable and more lethal joint force."It's all about people and what we do. The greatest potential advantage we have over any potential adversary is in the human domain. Nobody trains, educates, and empowers people like we do."Troxell outlined some key leader attributes the military should expect from every noncommissioned officer and petty officer regardless of the job and tactical operational strategic level.Leaders should be able to execute and operate off intent; understanding what is important to the commander and what the commander's vision, intent, and priorities are, he said. Know the mission, task, and end state and go after it without waiting to be told.Troxell explained leadership shouldn't wait around for someone to tell them what to do. Good leaders underwrite honest mistakes."We gotta have enlisted leaders on their worst day of life -- whether that's locked in combat or there's a fire on a ship or an emergency on a flight line --we gotta have enlisted leaders that can execute discipline initiative and operate on commander's intent. That's what mission command is."
During his travels throughout the joint force he said he is amazed seeing young leaders and what they are capable of."Only about 25 percent of 18 to 25 year olds in the United States qualify to be in the military," he said. "We are getting the cream of the crop. This makes it a lot easier for us to train, educate, and empower."He wants leaders to make sound and ethical decisions. Use all available resources to take care of the health of the force, he explained. Everything from conducting fitness training in the morning to focusing on discipline, resiliency, and readiness. Leaders should be able to manage risk while operating in a joint, multinational environment like the one at SHAPE."We need our servicemembers to think critically and develop people coming behind them," he said. "I have 36 months left [as Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] and I'm already preparing potential enlisted leaders to replace me. I think it's fair to ask every NCO and petty officer to consider the same."