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Battaglia: Critical Time for Senior Enlisted Leader Council

By Claudette Roulo
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2015 – Senior enlisted advisors to the joint chiefs, to the commandant of the Coast Guard and to combatant commanders met at the Pentagon last week for the bi-annual Defense Senior Enlisted Leader Council, hosted by Marine Corps Sgt. Major Bryan B. Battaglia, the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The council is a forum for the most senior enlisted leadership in the Defense Department to receive high-level briefings and conduct tabletop discussions aimed at eliciting recommendations for policy changes or modifications to programs, capabilities, personnel and facilities, Battaglia said.

Pay, Health Care, Retirement Commission

“This particular DSELC allowed us to come together at a crucial time as the [Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission] gets ready to release its recommendations on pay, health care and retirement,” the sergeant major said.

The senior enlisted leaders were briefed on the commission’s report, he said, which allowed them to capture some of the highlights so they can better explain the report to their troops.

“Senior enlisted leaders so often find themselves doing damage control in dispelling rumors from folks who pass along erroneous and unsubstantiated information,” Battaglia said.

Defense Secretary Hagel Joined Discussion

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel joined the enlisted leaders for a frank discussion, said Fleet Master Chief Mike Rudes, the senior enlisted advisor for U.S. Pacific Command.

“It was great to hear from the outgoing secretary of defense,” Rudes said. “He sat down and gave us an assessment of where things are and he's giving us some feedback -- some very direct feedback, actually -- on how we're doing in support of some of the messaging and some of the initiatives that we have going on.”

The council’s discussions covered a wide range of defense issues, he said, from budgetary matters to service-specific challenges.

Insightful Information

“It's been very insightful to get that kind of information to turn back and share with my component leaders in Pacom,” Rudes said, “so that they, in turn, can have correct and accurate information to pass on to our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines and their families.”

No matter their service branch, senior enlisted leaders’ challenges are very similar, said Sgt. Major of the Marine Corps Micheal P. Barrett. The same three pillars of leadership apply to every enlisted leader: setting the example, developing those in your charge and caring for those in your charge, he said.

“We all singularly have that mission of caring for those in our charge. … We all have the same mission; we may wear a different uniform, but we do the same job,” Barrett said.

“We're one team and we're one fight,” he added.

(Follow Claudette Roulo on Twitter: @roulododnews)

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Biographies:
Marine Corps Sgt. Major Bryan B. Battaglia
Marine Corps Sgt. Major Micheal P. Barrett
Navy Command Master Chief Mark W. Rudes

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