MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII --
Marines aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii gathered at the base theater for a question and answer session with Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, Aug. 5, 2013. Battaglia is the senior enlisted adviser to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Battaglia was welcomed by a full house, filled with service members of all branches. He spoke about current events for half an hour before opening the floor to questions.
Amongst the various issues brought up, the most talked about topic concerned uniforms.
The first sergeant of Service Company, Headquarters Battalion, 1st Sgt. William Banks, asked whether the armed forces will adopted a universal uniform.
He asked “Are we in fear our forces are going to lose our cultural identity with the addition of a universal uniform?”
Battaglia responded saying, on the battlefield U.S. forces look like an “American Baskin Robbins,” meaning the uniforms are cluttered and confuses allies working together with them.
“The idea is to find a universal uniform for the battlefield, whereas branch garrison uniforms will most likely remain the same,” Battaglia confirmed. “Talks concerning a distinct universal uniform are currently a work in progress.”
Another topic the sergeant major tackled was discussing the nation’s goal to shape the armed forces into a smaller, stronger, cohesive military unit by the year 2020.
Battaglia explained how everyone currently active within the armed forces, as well as future enlistees, will play a role in the coming changes as problems concerning manpower and staff surface.
“We’re going to find that we don’t have the funds to do things we’ve always done in the past, but we’ll adapt to the changes just like we’re used to,” Battaglia said. “Everyone in this room is a bona fide member of the armed forces.”
Before concluding the session, the sergeant major spoke briefly on the topic of cyber technology and how it will be implemented throughout the different branches.
A current goal for the military is to train service members in cyber warfare, as Battaglia confirmed it’s a reality we could face in the coming years.
“Our goal is to prevent and deter conflicts throughout the world,” Battaglia stated. “We are currently enlisting the help of civilians until our service members are properly trained in cyber technology. It’s something that’s important, and we need to get used to it.”
Aside from his billet, Battaglia is the senior staff noncommissioned officer of the U.S. armed forces. Some of his personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with Combat V and one gold star, Purple Heart and Combat Action Ribbon.