|Story & photos by Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff
The top-ranking enlisted service member in the Department of Defense
(DoD) visited Fort McCoy July 24-26 to observe training and learn about
the capabilities the installation offers to support the DoD mission.
Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia (left), the senior enlisted advisor
to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, observes the
Paralegal Warrior Training students traverse an obstacle at the
Fort McCoy Conditioning Course during his visit to Fort McCoy.
Marine Sergeant Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, the senior enlisted advisor
to chairman (SEAC) of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey,
visited units training at Fort McCoy as part of the Combat Support
Training Exercise and those participating in Paralegal Warrior Training.
Battaglia also had lunch with various installation servicemembers to
talk with them, get their input and answer their questions.
“My presence here is an opportunity to visit troops, see their training,
make some observations, and hear their issues.” Battaglia said.
Battaglia said his visits allow him to share information from the Joint
Chiefs of Staff level, and he always holds a question-and-answer session
to hear those issues and concerns of servicemembers. The Garrison
Command Sergeant Major Command Sgt. Maj. William T. Bissonette Jr. said
the SEAC was invited to visit Fort McCoy as part of the installation’s
strategic outreach and marketing plan.
“Sergeant Major Battaglia can take this information back with him (to
the highest levels of the Department of Defense),” Bissonette said. “He
brings a heightened level of awareness to Fort McCoy’s capability
throughout the DoD.”
The visits also allow Battaglia to share training strategies and
technologies; if he sees something at one U.S. base that can be used
elsewhere, sharing ideas and best practices is a win, win for the entire
team. It helps keep quality training up and costs down and in a lot of
cases adds more realism to the training objectives.
Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia (second from right), the senior
enlisted advisor to chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has
lunch with Fort McCoy Soldiers at the Installation Dining
Facility to get their input and answer their questions.
“I see Fort McCoy as one of our premier training bases, not just for
the National Guard or our reserve component, but for the total force —
all the service branches (Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Marines, Air Force,
etc.),” Battaglia said. “I’m very impressed with the live, virtual, and
constructive technology that Team McCoy has immersed into their training
In conjunction with his visit to Fort McCoy, Battaglia also visited Volk
Field and the Tomah Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center.
“At each stop, I try to extend my visit out to the community such as our
VA hospitals, Homeless Centers, and Student Veterans Associations where
our veterans and military Families, live and work. They too are part of
the Total Force and veteran healthcare as well as the collaborative
relationship between the community, the VA, and our military bases, both
Volk Field and McCoy remain a vital lifeline,” Battaglia said.
Bissonette said this reinforces Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col.
Steven W. Nott’s philosophy that he wants to move beyond community
relationships between Fort McCoy and the surrounding communities to
community interaction and an active partnership between McCoy and the
More photos of Battaglia’s visit to Fort McCoy, taken by Staff Sgt. Sun
Vega, photographer to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff can be
seen online at