LANDSTUHL, Germany -- The new Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Ramon "CZ" Colon-Lopez paid a visit to Soldiers, Airmen, Marines and Sailors assigned to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center while touring the only forward-stationed American medical center and largest United States hospital overseas, Feb. 19.
SEAC Colon-Lopez' visit was part of a broader trip to the region to engage with service members and leadership at Ramstein Air Base as well as U.S. European Command headquarters in Stuttgart.
Chosen by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, Colon-Lopez is the most senior enlisted service member, by position, in the United States Armed Forces. He serves 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.
During the visit, Colon-Lopez, an Air Force pararescueman, held a professional development opportunity for enlisted service members, giving insights into his role as the SEAC and the future of the Joint Force.
Colon-Lopez discussed health of force issues such as suicide and quality of life, and future plans for enlisted personnel, to include the newly formed U.S. Space Force and realignment of personnel. He focused his guidance on the need for building relationships and the importance of face-to-face interactions.
"As noncommissioned officers and petty officers, we need to make sure that we get enough time with our people to know when something is wrong," said Colon-Lopez.
Readiness across the force was also discussed, highlighting the importance of both physical and mental toughness.
"The fact that right now 70 percent of the U.S. population from the ages of 14 to 25 aren't eligible to serve in the Armed Forces (due to health and fitness standards) is pretty alarming," said Colon-Lopez. "Success in today's military is all about being adaptable and resilient. It's all interconnected and it starts with taking care of yourselves as a human weapon system."
Prior to the professional development session, Colon-Lopez's visit also included one-on-one mentoring sessions with service members along with a tour of the hospital.