Battaglia Reflects on Total Force
Battaglia Reflects on Total
Force, Military Appreciation
By Amaani Lyle, American Forces Press Service.
Jacksonville, Florida – (AFPS)
– April 18, 2014 – As he concludes his week-long visit here, gratitude has
emerged as the lingering theme, the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B.
Battaglia, senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
talks to applicants about military commitment and service to their country
before administering the ceremonial oath of enlistment at the Military Entrance
Processing Station in Jacksonville, Fla., April 16, 2014.
DOD photo by Army Master Sgt. Terrence
Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia’s schedule included
engagements with multiple demographics ranging from adolescents to people in
long-term care to learn more about their experiences in and with the military.
“Everywhere we stopped, there was always someone, regardless of whether they
served in the past or not, who when they see you in uniform, exhausted all
efforts to say, ‘Thank you for your service,’” the sergeant major said.
From Junior ROTC high school students to commissioned and
noncommissioned officers, wounded warriors, volunteers, family members and
senior retirees at a Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic, Battaglia reflected on
how each group is an integral part of the total force. “It’s the intent and
scope of each one of my stops that I engage with the base or post, the community
and the VA,” Battaglia said, “because those are three legs to the stool that, if
missing a leg, can become very unstable.”
After interacting with high school Junior ROTC youth at Naval
Air Station Mayport here, Battaglia visited the Jacksonville Military Entrance
Processing Station. The sergeant major recounted that he got to engage not only
with youth who were about to commit to the military, but also with people about
the same age who were about to begin their careers. “Administering the
ceremonial oath and getting to meet with the MEPS staff was very educational,”
Battaglia said. “While it was monumental for some of them to have me visit, it
was even more monumental for me to be welcomed into their facility.”
This summer, Battaglia said, he will meet with Gold Star
families who have lost a loved one to combat. “They’ll never be forgotten, and
they’re part of the total force, too,” he said. The meetings, he added, are all
part of the public-private partnership that bridges the gap between the military
members and citizens and allows him to gauge the relationships among many
entities. “The base has to be open to its community, the community has to be
open to its base, and the VA is a conduit as well,” Battaglia said. “I’m happy
to report the relationships are strong in Jacksonville, and it’s really a model
for the United States to work after.”
He said visits such as this enable him to make comparisons to
other cities. “Should I see some best practices, I’m happy to share that with
other communities to say that it’s not ‘the’ way, but perhaps ‘a’ way. … And I
think our country can benefit from it,” Battaglia said.
The sergeant major said he will return here in early June.
“The city of Jacksonville appears to love its military men and women,” Battaglia
said. “I got that by sitting with the mayor … all the way to talking with the
employee on kitchen duty at the veterans homeless shelter.”
(Follow Amaani Lyle on Twitter: @LyleAFPS) :
Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia
Special Report: Travels With Battaglia