SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii-- Retired Senior Enlisted Advisor to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Wayne Troxell and retired Sgt. Maj. Anthony A. Spadaro interacted with soldiers and leaders of the 25th Infantry Division during an organized visit at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, Feb. 22, 2021.
“Sgt. Maj. Spadaro and I work a lot in the veterans support arena now as retirees and we’re doing some things on the island with Indo-Pacific Command,” said Troxell. “I reached out to an old friend, Maj. Gen. James Jarrard and I said, ‘hey we’re gonna be on island’ and he said, ‘well, hey you should come visit and we’ll make a day out of it.’”
In Troxell’s 38 years of service, he did five combat tours which included Operation Just Cause in Panama, Operation Desert Storm, two tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He finished his career in the Army as the Senior Enlisted Advisor to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
To kick off the start of the day, lanes consisting of bars with forty-five pound weights, 10 pound medicine balls, cones set up as stations for burpees and pushups were lined up for Troxell and Spadaro to take on the PT session with 25th Inf. Div. soldiers. Groups of seven gathered behind each lane to compete against each other to see who could get through the hundreds of repetitions of each different exercise to build team building skills and comradery.
After a quick office call and lunch grabbed from the Sustainment Bistro, Troxell and Spadaro went to the Squad Leader Forum at Sgt. Smith Theater to speak with the Soldiers. The Squad Leader Forum provides the opportunity for junior non-commissioned officers and senior leaders to discuss how they can improve the culture within their squads and to provide feedback on how the division can better take care of them and their families.
The Squad Leader Forum took place Jan. 25 through Feb. 22 and provided squad leaders an opportunity to come out and discuss solutions on how they can fix problems within the division.
Troxell immediately took the opportunity to integrate himself into some of the small group discussions and offer some advice to the non-commissioned officers concerning discipline, trust, care, and respect.
“In the thirty eight years I served, people were always first,” stated Troxell. “I always knew for my organization to be successful it had to be built on trust and mutual respect, and the folks that worked for me were prepared to do things at a high level under the worst conditions.”
Spadaro was left with an indelible impression after getting to sit through the discussions between the senior leadership and squad leaders.
“One of the things that I took away from watching the forum was that I was watching ‘understanders’ not ‘convincers’,” said Spadaro. “I didn’t watch a bunch of leaders get up there saying that they were going to convince you how to do this but actually coming up with solutions.”
As the Squad Leader Forum came to an end and Troxell and Spadaro got ready to leave, Troxell remarked on the division leadership’s initiative in seizing the opportunity to better the entire organization.