Retired U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. John Troxell, senior enlisted adviser to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 2015-2019, spoke recently during the inaugural Nevada Guard Leadership Speaker Series at the Nevada Air National Guard Base auditorium in Reno.
“Today’s military must balance three critical elements: discipline, compassion and mission accomplishments,” Troxell, a 37-year veteran of the U.S. Army, said during his presentation. “This is vital for maintaining and building readiness. We must always be prepared to go up against the worst day of our life.”
Dozens sat in the socially-distanced auditorium, including Maj. Gen. Ondra Berry, Nevada adjutant general, Brig. Gen. Michael Hanifan, Nevada assistant adjutant general, Col. Jacob Hammons, 152nd Airlift Wing commander, Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Spaulding, Nevada senior enlisted leader, and Chief Master Sgt. Angela Ash, 152nd Airlift Wing command chief master sergeant, with others watching on Facebook Live.
Troxell began the presentation with a strategic scope, describing the nation’s ongoing “great power competition” in the world and the importance of the U.S. military’s pursuit of building alliances around the globe.
He then transitioned into a discussion on leadership. Troxell focused on the importance of balancing discipline and compassion in order to accomplish the mission in today’s military.
“Discipline can weigh down compassion and compassion can weigh down discipline,” Troxell, who lives in Lakewood, Wash., said. “We need to use this balancing act to help focus everyone to become champions in all they do.”
Troxell’s presentation provided Soldiers and Airmen a close look at exceptional military leadership on the national and international stage, Berry said.
“Everybody wins when a leader gets better,” Berry said. “But we must always ask ourselves throughout our careers and lives: Who is the first person you must lead? Yourself. It doesn’t matter your age or rank, you can always continue to learn.”
Spaulding, Nevada’s senior enlisted leader, said he hopes to have more leadership speaking events in the future, coordinated with Command Chief Master Sgt. James Lindsay, Nevada Air Guard state command chief.
“We wanted to start this series in November, but it was delayed because of the pandemic,” Spaulding said. “It’s important to bring speakers who have knowledge of leadership working at the strategic level. Command Sgt. Maj. Troxell brings that. Now it’s up to us here in Nevada to determine how we translate those strategies at the national level and apply them here in Nevada. How do we grow a diverse military? How to we continue to improve as leaders? That is the intent of our leadership series.”