By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 28, 2012 – The senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff discussed his approach to health, mission and morale during the Air Force Reserve Wingman Day here yesterday.
Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia explained how Total Force Fitness, the profession of arms and “bridging the basics” have been the cornerstones of the Defense Department’s overall resilience program.
The sergeant major related his enthusiasm about the “simplistic definition” of Wingman Day, which, he said, provides skills and strategy related to health, mission performance and unit cohesion.
“Fitness is more than running, pull-ups and push-ups [and the] Wingman Day concept is more than an event -- it’s a culture of airmen taking care of airmen, 24-7, 365 days a year,” Battaglia said.
Battaglia described the Total Force Fitness concept, a holistic approach to mental and physical health intended to build resiliency. The program divides major aspects of the military member’s life into eight “wedges,” he said, including social, emotional, psychological, spiritual, environmental, physical, behavioral and medical and dental facets.
Described in Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction 3405.01, the Total Force Fitness program is a plan for understanding, assessing and maintaining service members' well-being and sustaining their ability to carry out missions.
Battaglia credited his upbringing as a Marine to his ongoing investment in the profession of arms.
“It doesn’t matter what rank or specialty you are … we’re going through some challenges with transformation and understanding in defining our profession,” Battaglia said. “The oath is a stepping stone; it’s the basic training syllabus that really makes an enlisted member become a member of the profession.”
The oath, according to Battaglia, is the tie that binds the military.
“From the most-senior [noncommissioned officer] in the armed forces to the most-junior E-1 who just graduated, the oath is identical,” Battaglia said of the vow to support and defend the U.S. Constitution. “For the most part, the message remains the same.”
Battaglia also focused on another enduring military theme, going “back to basics” by preparing service members for a home-station-based military with a lower operations tempo as the wars abroad draw down.
Service members who joined the military in the years following 9/11 can learn from those who experienced a peacetime military, he said.
“Growing up in a period that was so heavily garrisoned during the late ’70s, ’80s and even some of the ’90s … being molded and developed … we cracked the code on how to live and survive in that world,” the sergeant major said.
He shared an anecdote about trying to explain to a young soldier that the military would go “back to basics,” to which the soldier replied, “Whose basics, yours, sergeant major? I don’t know what those are; I’ve never been there.”
Battaglia said he soon realized the value in both the operational and administrative basics of new and older generations.
“It’s not like we can completely return to these basics and disregard the technologies and methods of operating that our generation now has … we wouldn’t be able to keep pace,” Battaglia said. “We can bridge both technologies and both methods of