Command Sgt. Maj. John Troxell, the third Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently addressed students attending the Armor Basic Officer Leadership Course, Infantry Basic Officer Leadership Course and Maneuver Captain’s Career Course at the Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning, Georgia. Troxell led by acknowledging the group of students as “the future of the U.S. Army and our joint force.” He then described part of his job saying, “I gain and maintain the pulse of the joint force.”
Troxell explained that gaining the “pulse” is done by meeting with various leaders and listening to what they have to say. Following those meetings, he takes what he has learned back to the most strategic leaders within the department of defense. He added that in order to do this, being relevant and responsive to the Joint Chiefs of Staff are important parts of his job. “As we move forward and we’re continuing to adapt our military, I’ve also got to be the voice for the joint enlisted force,” he said. Troxell discussed strategies the U.S. Army is employing to address potential and emerging threats in the world.
He explained that his boss, Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is primarily focused on giving the best military advice to the president regarding the five strategic challenges the U.S. Army is presently facing. Those five challenges are: China, North Korea, Russia, Iran, and the violent, extremist organizations. Troxell also outlined the national military objectives. “We’ve got to have the ability to defeat state adversaries, deter and deny conflict,” he said. Troxell explained that the military has to be able to get after the violent, extremist organizations. “That means disrupting what they’re trying to do, degrading their ability to gain resources and, in the end, defeating them,” he said.
Troxell added that the U.S. has to mitigate the risk to its force by leaning on its partners to assist. “We’ve got to continue to strengthen our global networks of allies and partners,” he said. He also said to the students that the restoration of joint readiness, improving joint warfighting and developing leaders for the joint force are focus areas of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “As leaders, we anticipate, communicate and mitigate risk to enable us to get after the mission,” he said. Troxell also mentioned improving global agility as leaders. “We’re never going back prior to 9/11,” he said. “Your men and women out there need to be conditioned to have an expeditionary mindset. It’s not if I’m going to deploy, it’s when are we moving out. And you’ve got to prepare them for that,” Troxell noted. He also emphasized that training programs have to be geared toward excellence and not minimum standards. “You’ve got to demand greater efficiencies or effectiveness out of your organization and the men and women that are in it,” he said. “Don’t apologize for having high standards,” he added. Troxell then offered the students one last piece of advice. “Never take your duties lightly,” he said.