Marine Sgt. Maj. Bryan Battaglia is hosting a televised town hall meeting for service members and their families that will air next month on American Forces Network. (Defense Department)
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If you have questions about compensation or how to transition to the civilian world, the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff wants to hear from you.
Marine Sgt. Maj. Bryan Battaglia is asking for questions from troops, family members and veterans that he can answer on a televised town hall meeting that will air next month on American Forces Network.
People have until July 11 to submit questions via Facebook at www.facebook.com/seac.jcs or Twitter at www.twitter.com/seac_battaglia or they can email Battaglia’s spokesman, Army Master Sgt. Terrence Hayes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Susan Kelly, director of the Defense Department’s Transition Assistance Program, also will be on the show to answer any questions about what resources are available to prepare service members and family members for civilian life, Battaglia said.
Battaglia said there is “a very large appetite” for information these days among the many troops and families preparing for transition or reintegration back into society, whether through retirement or separation. “So we are bringing the subject matter expert for the entire Department of Defense specifically onto this show to address that,” he said.
Battaglia said he also can take questions from service members about their pay and benefits.
“Keep in mind, if they propose individual questions that are related to their specific portfolios, we are going to their service’s career counselor or first sergeant to take care of that pay discrepancy or pay issue,” Battaglia said.
“But from a generic sense, and across the DoD pay scale, we’ll do our best to answer those questions about service members’ needs,” he said. “I’m not opposed to saying: ‘Look, I’m sorry I’m not able to answer your question right now. Let me do a little research, and we’ll certainly come back to you.’”
While Battaglia hopes to answer as many questions as he can, he will not be able to talk about issues that have yet to be decided by senior defense officials.
“I’m not going to get in front of the [Joint Chiefs] chairman or the secretary of defense prior to them having signed something out to ... the force,” Battaglia said. “I’m not going to address or entertain any questions, possibly, about Sgt. [Bowe] Bergdahl, for example, because those things are not yet releasable and so it would very inappropriate as well as unethical and illegal.”
As the senior enlisted advisor, Battaglia often visits troops, but it would be impossible for him to visit every installation and outpost, so the televised town hall will allow him to talk to service members whom he can’t meet in person, he said.
“Many times during our travels, I’ve come across questions from soldiers, airmen, Marines, sailors, Coast Guardsmen and their families, that not only affect them personally but affect troops and families from all services,” he said.
“This is a great tool and resource for me to share those same issues and resolutions with them and let them know that they are not alone and that there are joint solutions to their concerns.”