CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait, Oct. 24, 2011 -- Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III, Command Sgt. Maj. of the Army Reserve Michael Schultz, and Command Sgt. Maj. of the Army National Guard Richard Burch, conducted a town hall meeting with Third Army Soldiers here Oct. 21.

During the assembly, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Chandler briefed more than 500 Third Army Soldiers on upcoming changes, while also answering questions and concerns voiced by Soldiers.

"I need Soldiers' opinions on what changes need to be made in order to better the Army," Chandler said. "The American people have put their trust in you. The Army is going to keep bringing the fight while making sure our Soldiers are ready to perform full-spectrum operations at all times."

Chandler informed Third Army Soldiers of upcoming changes to retirement benefits, the new Army Physical Readiness Test, and alterations being made to the current Army Combat Uniform.

Additionally, Chandler addressed Third Army Soldiers on upcoming changes to the Army's retention policy, informing troops there will be a reduction in total force size in the near future.

"Our objective is to get rid of those who don't cut the mustard," explained Chandler. "This will be one of the challenges our Army faces. We're implementing several systems to make sure we retain the best soldiers who have the most to offer our country."

After the question and answer portion of the town hall, Chandler awarded coins to more than 30 Soldiers who exceeded the standard, including members of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club.

Of those awarded a coin was Sgt. Thomas A. Wing, 994th Medical Detachment (Veterinary Services). Wing said being presented a coin by the Sergeant Major of the Army was a shining moment in his military career.

"This is a rare honor," explained Wing. "This is something I would have never expected. I'm flabbergasted."

As the coin ceremony came to a close, Chandler took time to take individual photos with Soldiers and reminded troops of their impact on the U.S.

"The strength of our nation is the Army," Chandler said. "The strength of our Army is Soldiers, and the strength of our Soldiers is families. Thank you for everything you do."

Chandler's visit furthered Third Army's initiative to shape the future by allowing Soldiers, the strength of the nation, to provide essential feedback and voice their insight on how to improve the Army as a whole for years to come.