VOLK FIELD, Wis. --
The military's top enlisted leader and advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff outlined some of DoD's top priorities - which could play a factor in the future of the Wisconsin National Guard - during a town hall meeting July 25 at Volk Field Air National Guard Base.
Marine Sgt. Maj. Bryan Battaglia, the senior enlisted advisor to Gen. Martin Dempsey, said the the Department of Defense's top strategic goal is to protect the homeland.
"If you read between the lines, that's going to include the Guard and Reserve," Battaglia said. "While you're going to go through some adjustment ... we need the Guard, and I don't think anyone is questioning that whatsoever."
Battaglia spoke with Volk Field Airmen and 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team Soldiers at the meeting and perhaps the most important topic to his audience was Joint Force 2020, which anticipates the composition of the armed forces by the end of the decade.
"While historically we're not that good at predicting the future, it only goes to show that we, as a nation or an armed force, have to be ready for a multitude of things," Battaglia explained. "We just have to ensure that, while leaner, we are still capable, relevant, ready, trained and educated to conquer and achieve any emerging requirements that our president may direct."
Command Chief Master Sgt. Greg Cullen, senior enlisted advisor for the Wisconsin Air National Guard, said that comment from Battaglia was his biggest take-away from the town hall meeting.
Command Sgt. Maj. John Gipe, senior enlisted advisor assigned to the office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, accompanied Battaglia and spoke to Soldiers about his vision of the Guard's future relevance as well as personnel and training requirements.
Another of Dempsey's priorities is to achieve national objectives in current conflicts. Battaglia said the services continue toward that goal every day, partly by maintaining resilience.
The third priority Battaglia discussed was keeping faith in the military family.
"If you happen to be called to an operational status and have to deploy somewhere, he wants you to be comfortable enough to know that while you are off doing the nation's bidding, your family will be taken care of," he said.
Battaglia was passionate about the final priority discussed - commitment to the profession of arms.
"Ask yourselves - why are you here?" he suggested. "Part of this renewing our commitment to the profession of arms is reflecting. No other job requires an oath of enlistment to support and defend the constitution at all costs."
Command Sgt. Maj. George Stopper, senior enlisted advisor for the Wisconsin Army National Guard, noted that Battaglia devoted half of his time discussing Total Force Fitness, a program that addresses behavioral, psychological, physical and environmental fitness to achieve optimal well-being and performance under a variety of conditions. Stopper said the Wisconsin National Guard also promotes Total Force Fitness among its troops.
"The issues that affect Wisconsin are the same issues that are affecting the overall force," Stopper said. "It's encouraging to know that the most senior levels within DoD are focused on solutions to the same issues we are."
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