Retired SEAC #3 John Wayne Troxell visits NFARS

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Kelsey Martinez
  • 914th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

During the December unit training assembly (UTA), 914th Air Refueling Wing members had a chance to meet and speak with John Wayne Troxell, retired United States Army senior noncommissioned officer who served as the third Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (SEAC). In his former role as SEAC#3, Troxell served as the principal military advisor to the Chairman and the Secretary of Defense on all matters involving joint and combined total force integration, utilization, the health of the force, and joint development for enlisted personnel.

“I met SEAC#3 Troxell, the current SEAC at the time, when I was working at HQ AFRICOM and was hosting an African Senior Enlisted Symposium, which I facilitated with 69 senior enlisted African partners from 29 different countries,” said 914th Command Chief Master Sgt. Scott Peters. “We had opportunities to discuss the international development of enlisted across Africa.”

Due to the lack of general knowledge of who or what a SEAC is or does across the military, the idea to invite SEAC#3 came to fruition. Troxell’s visit allowed members an opportunity to ask questions and gain perspective on enlisted development. During this time, Troxell shared his experience on the importance of three significant concepts of readiness that drove his career: the three P’s of leadership, the importance of continued education, and PME (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being).

“I realized it was the three P's: presence, performance, and persistence that created a strong sense of leadership in myself," said Troxell. "The first component is your presence...when I showed up, people got excited even when I had to be a disciplinarian; people still got fired up.”

The second component is performance. “I didn’t want my subordinates to do anything that I couldn’t do myself, or I wasn’t demonstrating how to do it,” he said. “I wanted to lead through my example rather than the words that came out of my mouth.”

The third component is persistence. “Getting better every day, individually and collectively,” he said. “Pushing the men and women that worked for me to reach their untapped potential to one day be able to replace me in the job that I was in.”

Troxell explained that as he continued to grow in his military career, the need for education, professional development, and supplementary courses was necessary to help him improve his critical thinking skills while gaining a more robust understanding of the things happening around him.

“The greatest resource available, especially to our enlisted force, is the noncommissioned officer education system which allows for professional development as they progress in their careers,” he said. “Getting my master’s degree in Strategic Leadership was critical as I maneuvered from the tactical level through the operational level and ultimately to the strategic level.”

Troxell shared that readiness depends heavily on being physically fit, mentally and emotionally resilient, and spiritually connected.

“Being in the military requires us to be ready and prepared to fight and win anytime, anywhere, under any circumstances, and building a solid foundation of PME will give us the necessary tools to persevere the adversity that we will face,” he said. “It allows you to be confident in getting after the technical and tactical aspects of your job, which leads to excellence.”

Troxell emphasized that continuing to build a championship level of excellence individually and collectively as an organization gives our military an advantage against any threat.

“The United States military is the absolute bastion of what our nation is and the potential our nation has, and it's because of the more than 3 million men and women that have chosen to serve in our uniform,” said Troxell.

In addition to his visit to NFARS, SEAC #3 (Ret.) Troxell was also the featured guest speaker for the 914th Winter Gala in Niagara Falls, N.Y. Wing Deputy Chaplain Matthew Bryant, who was in attendance, found the speech both encouraging and inspirational.

“As a chaplain, I gravitated to the story he shared about his chaplain from a deployment, who, through the help of soldiers and civilians back home, was able to provide a pair of prosthetic legs for a young girl who had lost legs to an IED,” said Bryant. “His story reminded me that the job we have as warfighters can put us in proximity to the worst situations, tragedies, and the like, but the United States military and the flag that we wear on our sleeve has been and will continue to be a beacon of hope for many.”

For Bryant, hearing Troxell speak during the Winter Gala was a reminder of the U.S. military's power to reach those dark places and not just deal with death and carnage but provide hope amidst the darkness by being a ray of light and hope.

“Niagara Falls was extremely fortunate to have the highest enlisted member of the United States military visit our base to speak and interact with our members,” said Peters. “To know that this position advises the Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense, and the President of the United States for all enlisted members in the military, this just doesn’t happen every day.”

Although many military members are unaware of what a SEAC does across the military, members of the 914 ARW had the opportunity to hear some of the insight and wisdom SEAC #3 John Troxell gained throughout his years in the military and his time as SEAC #3.

“One of the most important messages that I learned from the SEAC #3 Troxell and (wife) Sandra was the importance for members to invest in, include, and take care of their family members because doing this allows them to be mentally prepared to perform their jobs when called upon,” said Peters. “I am honored and humbled to call him a friend and mentor.”

Thank you, Niagara, for welcoming SEAC #3(Ret.) John Wayne Troxell and his wife, Sandra. It was an honor to share our family here at Niagara with them.