Last Updated: October 16th, 2020By

By: Savoury Jacobson

FORT KNOX, KY. –On August 13, 2017, Command Sergeant Major (CSM) John Wayne Troxell visited Cadet Summer Training (CST) at Fort Knox, Ky.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense, CSM Troxell is the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the senior noncommissioned officer in the U.S. Armed Forces. In this role, he serves as the principal military advisor to the Chairman and the Secretary of Defense on all matters involving joint and combined total force integration, utilization, health of the force and joint development for enlisted personnel.

Command Sergeant Major (CSM) John Wayne Troxell

CSM Troxell enlisted in the U.S. Army in September 1982 as an armored reconnaissance specialist and graduated One Station Unit Training at Fort Knox, Ky. He has served in the Army over 30 years in numerous units throughout his career. They include the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Fort Bliss, Texas; two tours in Germany with the 3rd Armored Division, and the 3rd Infantry Division; two tours in the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C. with deployments to Panama, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq; Campbell University ROTC in Buies Creek, N.C.; and the Special Operations Division of Joint Task Force Six (Counter Drug) in El Paso, Texas. He has served as the Command Sergeant Major of the 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y., and in Iraq; the Regimental Command Sergeant Major of the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment in both Fort Polk, La., and Fort Lewis, Wash.; the Command Sergeant Major of the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, WA., and in Iraq; the 21st Command Sergeant Major of the U.S. Army Armor Center and Fort Knox, Ky.; the Command Sergeant Major of the U.S. Army Accessions Command and Human Resource Center of Excellence at Fort Knox, Ky.; the Command Sergeant Major of I Corps at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; the Command Sergeant Major of the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command in Afghanistan; and most recently as the Command Senior Enlisted Leader of the United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and United States Forces Korea.

CSM Troxell’s military education includes Ranger, Airborne, Jumpmaster, Pathfinder, the Primary Leadership Development Course, the Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course, the Advanced Noncommissioned Officers Course, and the First Sergeants Course. He is a graduate of Class 51 of the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy and the Command Sergeants Major Course. CSM Troxell is also a graduate of the National Defense University Keystone Joint Command Senior Enlisted Leader Course, the U.S. Army War College Strategic Leader Development Course, the Army Strategic Leader Development Program (Intermediate) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Army Strategic Leader Development Program (Advanced). Additionally, CSM Troxell is a Fellow at the Asia Pacific Center for Strategic Studies in Honolulu, Hawaii. CSM Troxell’s civilian education includes a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Strategic Leadership from Trident University in California.

Cadets during AAR at 2017 Cadet Summer Training. (Photo by Savoury Jacobson.)

CSM Troxell’s personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal (2), Legion of Merit (3), Bronze Star Medal (2), Meritorious Service Medal (5), NATO Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with Valor Device and 5 OLC, Army Achievement Medal (6), Army Good Conduct Medal (11), National Defense Service Medal (2), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with Arrowhead Device, Southwest Asia Service Medal (2), Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Support Medal, Korean Defense Medal, NATO Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (5), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (5), Saudi Arabia-Kuwait Liberation Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal, Combat Action Badge, Ranger Tab, Master Parachutist Badge with Bronze Service Star Device (Combat Jump), Pathfinder Badge, Driver’s Badge, and the Meritorious Unit Citation.

CSM Troxell came to Fort Knox to observe CST and when asked about his time, he stated, “I was impressed. I think Cadet Summer Training is getting…what we need these Cadets to not only be familiar with but to be experienced at…and [that’s] the basics: the fundamental stuff that we do, our foundations that build us into [the] warrior ethos.”

He went on to comment on how different generations learn differently, and the new pace of millennials, adding that, “We have to adapt culture to provide optimal learning environments for men and women.”

The interview went on to cover broader issues and the overall direction the military is taking. CSM Troxell advised Cadets to,

“Be comfortable in your own skin… Never stop growing and developing. I understand that it’s a complex world… and it’s an unforgiving world out there…We have some challenges with this country. We have challenges with political infighting. We have challenges domestically. We have challenges with budget. We have challenges with threats that are arising around our nation. But I, the Chairmen and the Secretary of Defense know three absolutes, and those absolutes are: […] The United States Army can absolutely defend our country, our way of life, and our freedoms, that we absolutely have warfighting advantages, competitive advantages in every warfighting domain over any potential threat, and three, we can absolutely meet our alliance commitments around the world…”

2017 Graduation at Cadet Summer Training (CST). (Photo by Savoury Jacobson.)

CSM Troxell’s final thoughts were, “…The key thing on why we’re the greatest military in the world is because of this competitive advantage we have…Nobody in the world trains, educates, develops, trusts, and empowers people like we do.”

The Cadets who graduated during the summer of 2017 are the Cadets of the future. They will determine the destiny of this country and the military to which they belong. Cadet Summer Training will bring around 8,200 Cadets through Basic and Advanced Camp this summer on Fort Knox. These camps are designed to help challenge, grow and improve various skills and leadership qualities within the Cadets. If you think you have what it takes to be a Cadet or if you are interested in a job after college click the following link: