Battaglia Lauds Army Basic Training Graduates
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 21, 2014 Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, welcomed the newest group of Army basic combat training graduates at Fort Jackson, S.C. yesterday, saying they will continue to maintain the U.S. military’s strong presence around the world.
Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, center, senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaks to a group of soldiers on Fort Jackson, S.C., Feb. 18. U.S. Marine Corps photo by David Shanes
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
“Soldiers, you are about to embark on one of the most challenging adventures of your life,” Battaglia said. “You've chosen to serve your country at a time when it is needed, when America must continue to provide a strong presence around the globe.
“You have made a great choice in joining this profession,” Battaglia continued. “We’re all very proud. Live by the Soldier’s Creed, do your job to the best of your ability, follow orders and you will have repeated successes which will benefit you for the rest of your lives.”
Battaglia lauded the new soldiers for their enlistment in the military, and their willingness to endure mentally and physically challenging training so that they can become part of two centuries of military tradition.
The new soldiers are now genuine members of the American military with the task of defending the nation, he said.
“Because of men and women serving our armed forces -- just like the warriors standing before you -- the Army, for over two centuries, has courageously defended our homeland,” Battaglia said. “Since World War I, Fort Jackson has transformed millions of young adults into [America’s] fighting men and women, the very defenders of the freedom and liberty in which we enjoy each day.”
Battaglia said he frequently tries to include former President John F. Kennedy in his remarks, and noted the solemn connection between Kennedy and a date significant to this group of new soldiers.
“It’s rather distinctive that the battalion’s training cycle began on the 22nd of November,” he said. “It brings life to a sad day in our history -- the loss of one of our great presidents.
“And seeing this powerful and patriotic image of 921 warriors fits perfectly,” Battaglia added, “when referring to one of [Kennedy’s] more famous statements …‘Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.’”
This very statement, he said, continues to serve as a testament to the sacrifices America’s service members endure in answering the nation’s call in both actions and commitment.
(Follow Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone Marshall on Twitter: @MarshallAFPS)