JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. — Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey administered the oath of office to Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia here today to serve as his senior enlisted adviser.
Dempsey, who hours earlier took the oath of office to become the 18th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, hosted the assumption of office ceremony to swear in Battaglia as the second noncommissioned officer to hold the position.
“I’m here today because of the support and guidance that I received from noncommissioned officers,” Dempsey said. “I had a great education at West Point, and I had a great group of officer mentors through the years. But whenever I look back at the moments of greatest learning in my career, there was generally a noncommissioned officer in there someplace.”
Battaglia will serve as the principal military adviser to the chairman and to Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta on all matters involving the joint and combined total force integration, utilization, health of the force and joint development for enlisted personnel, officials in the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
“Sergeant Major Bryan Battaglia is the right guy, at the right place, at the right time. We (have) some challenges coming up,” Dempsey said, adding that Battaglia had previously served as senior enlisted leader at U.S. Joint Forces Command.
In addition to his work at Joint Forces Command, Battaglia is widely known as being an advocate for junior Marines.
“He was well known throughout the Marine Corps as always being in the corner of his young Marines,” Dempsey said. “At the end of the day, if we’re to maintain our trust with the force, it’s going to take that kind of reputation. We’ve all got to have a reputation for being in the corner of those young men and women who we ask to leave the safety of their homes, raise their right hand, swear an oath, and then go out and do the nation’s bidding.”
Noting his multiple deployments and extensive operational knowledge, Dempsey welcomed Battaglia’s experience.
“He’s a warrior — a leader who can walk with kings … but has the common touch,” he said. “He’s also a combat-tested veteran who was the senior enlisted person in al-Anbar Province several times, and of course, that’s maybe where our toughest fighting, certainly in Iraq, and arguably, in this entire war, has taken place.”
Battaglia has been described as the kind of man a commanding general needs in his corner — “one who will tell you straight up what you need to know,” the chairman said.
Battaglia said that as Dempsey’s enlisted adviser, he plans to let his actions speak for him.
“Rather than stand before you today and go through a lineage of promises or job descriptions of what I can do … actions speak louder than words,” he said.
Battaglia thanked the many mentors who helped him along the way and the chairman for giving him an opportunity.
“Thank you, General Dempsey, for your trust and confidence in my abilities to serve this office. … You have my total commitment to the total force,” he said.
Army Command Sgt. Maj. William J. “Joe” Gainey, who served then-Joint Chiefs Chairman Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace as senior enlisted adviser from Oct. 1, 2005, until he retired in April 2008, was the first service member to hold the position.