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Senior enlisted advisor to the CJCS and SECDEF mentors AFNORTH enlisted members

  • Published
  • By Mary McHale
  • Air Forces Northern Public Affairs
An Air Forces Northern enlisted-member development initiative featured the top enlisted advisor to the Department of Defense as its keynote speaker April 24 here.
U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. John Wayne Troxell, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of Defense, opened Technical Sergeants Involved & Mentoring Enlisted, designed to develop today’s subordinates into tomorrow’s leaders through mentorship.

Throughout his remarks, Troxell encouraged participants to develop into leaders who emulate the highest standards of military bearing and service.

“Someone in your service had the faith to promote you – promotion is based on future potential, not past performance. So know and understand your commander’s intent, take the bull by the horns and get after executing it just as you were meant to do,” Troxell said. “I need NCOs and petty officers who are put in charge to take charge. Be that leader who inspires others on a daily basis.”

Troxell, a veteran of five combat tours and recipient of three Legion of Merit decorations, said the way to inspire is to set the example, show subordinates leadership traits – selflessness, commitment to mission, compassion – and then watch what they reveal to you.

“In all my 36 years of service, I’ve never seen a leader fail who genuinely engages their subordinates to reach levels of untapped potential,” he said. “Leaders need to show more and tell less.”

After the keynote address, participants discussed topics such as critical thinking and financial planning. There were also open-forum discussions for subordinate Airmen – staff sergeant and below -- about their concerns and a senior NCO panel for a question and answer session.

“We initially opened it to our organization locally but then decided to open this opportunity to units around the country,” said Senior Master Sgt. Roberto Amador, event planner from 1st Air Force (Air Forces Northern) – Continental U.S. NORAD Region Intelligence Directorate. “It was just too valuable an experience given how important professional military education is for all our enlisted community and this event involved all levels.”

Master Sgt. Erika Williams, 601st Air Operations Center Plans Division and one of the event planners said they went over feedback from last year’s event to plan for this year.

“We didn’t want to do the same thing so we made some changes,” she said. “We wanted to stress inclusiveness so hence we planned perspectives from both Airmen and senior NCOs. Lessons about mentorship and leadership can come from both leaders and subordinates.”