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Military's Top Enlisted Position Now Has Distinctive Rank Insignia

Dec. 10, 2019 , DOD News

As he prepares to turn over his responsibilities, the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has announced that the military's top enlisted service member will now wear a distinctive rank insignia.

Army Command Sgt. Maj. John Wayne Troxell made the announcement during a Pentagon news conference yesterday.

A uniformed service member sits behind a table and speaks into a microphone.
SEAC unfurls new insignia
Army Command Sgt. Maj. John Wayne Troxell, senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaks during a farewell news conference at the Pentagon, Dec. 9, 2019. Troxell, who soon will turn over his responsibilities to Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Ramon “CZ” Colon-Lopez, announced that the military’s top enlisted position now has a distinctive rank insignia.
Photo By: Army Sgt. James K. McCann
VIRIN: 191209-D-SW162-0070

The senior enlisted advisor to the chairman, known in the military as ''SEAC,'' serves as the principal advisor to the chairman on matters pertaining to the enlisted joint force. The unique insignia identifies the position, its duties and responsibilities.

The position was created Oct. 1, 2005, and a positional flag was created the following month but the SEAC position has had no specific rank insignia such as those worn by the most senior enlisted leaders of the services. The establishment of a unique rank insignia for the SEAC is a key step in recognizing and solidifying the importance of the top enlisted leader's role for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Defense Department, officials said.

Service member gestures while speaking and wearing the new rank insignia for the military’s top enlisted position. The chevron features an eagle and four stars in the center.
Farewell Conference
Army Command Sgt. Maj. John Wayne Troxell, senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaks during a farewell news conference at the Pentagon, Dec. 9, 2019.
Photo By: Army Sgt. James K. McCann
VIRIN: 191209-D-SW162-0110

The new SEAC chevron, which Troxell wore at the news conference, is similar to the unique insignia worn by sergeant major of the Army, sergeant major of the Marine Corps, chief master sergeant of the Air Force, master chief petty officer of the Navy and master chief petty officer of the Coast Guard.

''This historic step gives this position irreversible momentum,'' Troxell said.

The designs were developed by the Institute of Heraldry, with input from all the services. The Army and Air Force designs were given priority in advance of the Dec. 13 change of responsibility ceremony for the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman, when Troxell will turn over responsibility to Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Ramon ''CZ'' Colon-Lopez.

A uniformed service member sits behind a table and speaks into a microphone. Behind him, a sign on the wall reads “The Pentagon - WASHINGTON.”
SEAC unfurls new insignia
Army Command Sgt. Maj. John Wayne Troxell, senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaks during a farewell news conference at the Pentagon, Dec. 9, 2019.
Photo By: U.S. Army Sgt. James K. McCann
VIRIN: 191209-D-SW162-0044

The SEAC insignia is unique in two ways, officials noted: 

  • It uses the DOD eagle as the major design element, which represents that the position serves the DOD and Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  • It is the only senior enlisted advisor chevron that has a four-star pattern incorporated into the design. The four stars represent the unique insignia of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs. In comparison, the services’ senior enlisted advisor chevrons have service-unique symbolism with two stars.

The Institute of Heraldry provides military design support to the Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force. Development of the Marine Corps SEAC rank insignia has been added to the institute's project list for completion during this fiscal year. The design and development of the Navy SEAC rank insignia will be coordinated by the Navy. 

The SEAC rank insignia will be designed and developed for all service-specific uniform requirements, officials said.