Pace Selects Army Tanker as First JCS Senior Enlisted Adviser
By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 26, 2005 Incoming Joint Chiefs Chairman Marine Gen. Peter Pace has selected an Army armor leader as the first senior enlisted adviser to the chairman.
Command Sgt. Maj. William J. Gainey, currently the top enlisted man in 3rd Corps and Fort Hood, Texas, will advise Pace on matters pertaining to the enlisted force. Pace is slated to be sworn in as chairman Sept. 30. He was most recently vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs for the past four years.
In a telephone interview from Fort Hood today, Gainey said he is "humbled" by his selection and thrilled that the chairman will have a senior enlisted adviser.
"This is long overdue," he said. "And it'll be good for all the services."
Pace agreed. Having an enlisted adviser is "the right thing for me as an individual," he said.
"It is certainly the right thing for the organization," he added. "And it's the right thing for the message it sends to the great young men and women in uniform in all the services who want to know that somebody is representing them in a way that they can recognize -- an individual who understands the experience."
The sergeant major said his top priority will be to bring together the senior enlisted members from all services "and work to make the best life for our (servicemembers)."
"We all work on the same plateau," Gainey said of the members of his sister services. "We're going to work to make training and education better for all the services."
During his tenure, Gainey said he also plans to "find that one little place that no one ever visits" and reach out to those servicemembers who rarely get recognized for their contribution. "I want to tell that soldier there, 'Thank you for letting me be a part of your team,'" he said.
Pace said a senior enlisted adviser is important because he recognizes the value of noncommissioned officers to the U.S. military.
"After 38 years I still know exactly what I've known since I was a second lieutenant, that nothing good in my military career has happened without the great advice and counsel of a superb senior enlisted partner," Pace said.