April 28, 2005
General Richard B. Myers, USAF
Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
Washington, D. C. 20318-9000
Dear General Myers:
A recent news item appearing in the Navy and Marine Corps Times announced a top enlisted member of the Armed Services may be chosen to be an enlisted advisor to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Fleet Reserve Association (FRA), the major enlisted organization to advocate the position of senior enlisted advisors for all the Armed Services, encourages the Chairman to support the assignment of a most senior enlisted member to advise the Chairman on matters related to the enlisted uniformed community.
The appointment of a senior enlisted advisor as Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps in 1957, proved the need for someone knowledgeable in the enlisted community to keep the Commandant of the Marine Corps abreast of what may be affecting its state of readiness and morale. The accomplishments and professionalism displayed by the Corps’ first three Sergeants Major led to the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard subsequently assigning their own senior enlisted advisors. Today, it’s probably an accepted fact that the top chiefs of the services cannot provide an acceptable enlisted personnel program without consultation with their top enlisted advisors.
FRA subscribes to the statement of former Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Alfred McMichael USMC, now the senior enlisted advisor to NATO Headquarters. McMichael is quoted as saying "the time is ripe for such a move. The JCS Chairman should have the opportunity as other senior commanders to keep in touch with the enlisted force through the eyes and ears of their senior enlisted advisors." The Chairman, McMichael said, needs someone he can turn to and ask, "What's the word on the street?"
FRA believes the assignment of a top enlisted advisor will provide the Chairman with the best information on what is occurring in the enlisted community; how is quality of life enhancing both readiness and morale, training and welfare, and as suggested in the news item, "all matters concerning joint and combined total-force integration."
Establishing the position of senior enlisted advisor can be only a win, win, win for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. FRA urges your active support for this new billet assignment.
JOSEPH L. BARNES
National Executive Secretary