Saturday, January 31, 2009

President to Meet with Senior Enlisted Advisors at White House

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30, 2009 - President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet this afternoon with the U.S. military's senior enlisted advisors at the White House, a senior Defense Department official said.

The armed services' enlisted advisors are the senior noncommissioned officers for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. The president also will greet the Coast Guard's top enlisted leader, spokesman Bryan Whitman told Pentagon reporters today.

Obama is slated to meet with Sergeant Major of the Army Kenneth O. Preston, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Rick D. West, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Carlton W. Kent and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Charles W. Bowen.

The senior enlisted leaders serve as personal advisors to their respective civilian service secretaries and military chiefs of staff or commandants on matters concerning enlisted-force welfare, readiness, morale and utilization.

The meeting is a way for Obama to gain insight and perspective about the enlisted force through the accumulated experience of the military's most senior enlisted leaders, Whitman said.

Just as Obama met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon Jan. 28, Whitman said, the commander in chief also "feels that it's important to talk" to the armed service's senior enlisted advisors.

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