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 News Article

Battaglia: DoD-PGA Tour Partnership Gives Back to America

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, April 15, 2015 – The Defense Department’s partnership with the PGA Tour organization of professional golfers is a means of giving back to not only the military, but also to America, the Pentagon’s top senior enlisted leader said today.

Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appeared on the Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” show, where he was interviewed by hosts Gary Williams and Paige Mackenzie in Jacksonville, Florida.

The sergeant major discussed the importance of the department’s partnership with the PGA Tour and its support to nonprofit organizations such as “Birdies for the Brave.”

Birdies for the Brave

The national military outreach initiative “Birdies for the Brave” is dedicated to honoring and showing appreciation to service members and their families. According to its website, the program was created in 2006 by PGA Tour player Phil Mickelson and his wife, Amy, and has raised more than $13 million for nonprofit military homefront groups.

The program is “an admirable effort” that looks out for service members and their families, Battaglia said. “It has grown and blossomed over the years,” he added. “Now the PGA tour has latched onto it, and we are enjoying a longstanding partnership with PGA tour, as well as ‘Birdies for the Brave,’ ‘K9s for Warriors,’ and all the other nonprofit organizations that do what they can as part of giving back to America.”

The sergeant major noted that events he has seen in Jacksonville -- such as “Operation Shower” baby showers for military families and a “Birdies for the Brave” job and hiring fair endorsed by the PGA Tour -- are a way of giving back to communities and the nation, not just to the armed forces.

Golf, Military Have Parallels

Asked if he could have foreseen the level of partnership that has developed between the PGA Tour and the military, Battaglia said there was “no doubt about it,” and he mentioned ways golf is similar to the military.

“We, in our own way, have our separate degrees of small-unit excellence, don’t we?” he asked. “I mean you have a tour professional and a caddie. There’s a chemistry that needs to be there. There’s decision making; there’s critical thinking skills.” Similar attributes are needed in the armed forces, he added, as well as honor, integrity and being a role model.

“So I see a lot of these skills that a golfer has are compatible with what … we want to instill in our service members as well,” he said.

Battaglia lauded the PGA Tour for its support and generosity in welcoming active and reserve-component service members and military veterans to its events.

“That just shows the support and partnership that we happen to be on the receiving end of [in] enjoying a sport that golf provides our country,” he said.

(Follow Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone Marshall on Twitter: @MarshallDoDNews)

Contact Author

Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia

Related Sites:
Birdies for the Brave
Operation Shower

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