HomeNewsArticle Display

SEAC discusses authentic leadership during California National Guard banquet

Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Ramón “CZ” Colón-López speaks during the California Military Department Service Member of the Year Banquet, Jan. 18, 2020, in San Diego. The banquet recognized the best enlisted soldiers, airmen and sailors in the California Army National Guard, California Air National Guard and California State Guard.

Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Ramón “CZ” Colón-López speaks during the California Military Department Service Member of the Year Banquet, Jan. 18, 2020, in San Diego. The banquet recognized the best enlisted Soldiers, Airmen and Sailors in the California Army National Guard, California Air National Guard and California State Guard. (Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Crystal Housman)

Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Ramón “CZ” Colón-López, center, stands at attention as medal citations are read for U.S. Army Sgt. Alec Rantanen, third from right, and Spc. Jesus Cruz, second from right, during the California Military Department Service Member of the Year Banquet, Jan. 18, 2020, in San Diego. The banquet recognized the best enlisted soldiers, airmen and sailors in the California Army National Guard, California Air National Guard and California State Guard. Rantanen earned Noncommissioned Officer of the Year honors for the California Army National Guard and Cruz was named Soldier of the Year. At right is Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin, Adjutant General of the California Military Department.

Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Ramón “CZ” Colón-López, center, stands at attention as medal citations are read for U.S. Army Sgt. Alec Rantanen, third from right, and Spc. Jesus Cruz, second from right, during the California Military Department Service Member of the Year Banquet, Jan. 18, 2020, in San Diego. The banquet recognized the best enlisted Soldiers, Airmen and Sailors in the California Army National Guard, California Air National Guard and California State Guard. (Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Crystal Housman)

SAN DIEGO (AFNS) -- For many of the gathered Soldiers and Airmen of the California National Guard, the position of senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was one they were not familiar with. They could be forgiven SEAC Ramón “CZ” Colón-López, only the fourth individual to hold the position, took to the podium Jan. 18 in San Diego to answer questions, educate the group on the SEAC position and detail priorities of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The initial meet and greet was just a warm-up for the day. After speaking with the assembled troops, Colón-López visited with Airmen and Soldiers during break-out sessions.

The SEAC position, which is the highest enlisted position in the Defense Department, was created in 2005 under Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The SEAC advises the chairman on all matters involving enlisted personnel. As Colón-López explained, it means a lot of travelling, spending time with troops wherever they are and keeping a finger on the pulse of enlisted personnel.

Colón-López emphasized the importance of readiness and developing leaders from the bottom up.

“I want to echo what (Maj. Gen. David Baldwin, California’s adjutant general) said to you about empowering your junior troops,” Colón-López said.


“It is the responsibility of us as the (noncommissioned officers) and officers of today to grow, develop and mentor the leaders of tomorrow.”

Colón-López fielded questions about readiness, and the high numbers of suicides in the military’s ranks. On the issue of military suicides, Colón-López noted the issue was one of the highest priorities of the chairman and that programs were currently being implemented to address the problem.

“We must remove the stigma of seeking treatment,” Colón-López stressed, “and ensure that anyone that needs help gets the help they need.”

Later that evening, Colón-López was the keynote speaker during the Service Member of the Year Banquet.

The annual banquet recognizes the top troops from the California Army Guard, Air Guard and State Guard.

“This is probably the most people I’ve seen standing behind a podium,” he told the more than 1,000 assembled service members – the largest crowd in the event’s history.

Colón-López took the opportunity to thank the often unheralded family members in attendance.

“Your sacrifice is seldom measured or rewarded. But you always rise to task without reservation or expectation,” he said. “You truly are the strength of this nation.”

Colón-López spoke of the rich history of the California National Guard and its many accomplishments for the state and nation. He lauded all the individuals nominated and left them with an impassioned message.

“Let this experience serve as a life-long expectation of your performance and your capabilities. You are now the standard and you are not allowed to regress.”

In closing, he charged everyone to use this milestone as a defining checkpoint in their career.


“After tonight, your mission is to help others have their moment in the future, much like you’re having here tonight.

“You need to be the change you want to see and you need to be the leader that you always wish you had. Carry on with humility and humor and never sell your soul in order to impress. Just be comfortable being you.”

Engage

Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Meet MSgt Aldrian Byrd. He led security operations in support of Operation Allies Refuge at Ramstein AB and ensured the s…
Twitter
In partnership with the @AFResearchLab's Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation directorate,… https://t.co/NgCL6CkPVJ
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: The @USAirForce was established Sept. 18, 1947 by that year's National Security Act. To kick-off the service's formal bi…
Twitter
.@AFWERX Agility Prime partner, Moog Aircraft Group, has created a prototype electric vertical takeoff and landing… https://t.co/j8GTzog2bJ
Twitter
Three C-130s flying sorties from McClellan Air Tanker Base in Sacramento County, CA, are performing an aerial firef… https://t.co/77dTFbhjXI
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: A senior leader message prior to the @USAirForce's 74th birthday: "Our Airmen serve around the globe, always ready to de…
Twitter
Today is POW/MIA Recognition Day. We recognize the more than half-million service members who have, at one time, be… https://t.co/txZ2zTxlm0
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Innovation depends on both creativity and support to turn concepts into reality. It requires courage, and rewards tenacit…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Partnerships are fundamental to executing the mission. Working with and learning from our partner nations @NATO -- togeth…
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: The 2021 #ENJJPT Steering Committee is happening at @SheppardAFB this week! Excited to continue our partnership to deliver…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: This is Capt Eric Johnson. He was critical to the reception, care, feeding and bed down of more than 30,000 vulnerable Af…
Twitter
.@UnderSecAF Gina Ortiz Jones met with @USAFReserve Airmen to discuss the @DeptofDefense COVID-19 vaccination direc… https://t.co/9y28hmcMir
Twitter
Join Department of the Air Force senior leaders for a live, virtual town hall discussing the Racial Disparity Revie… https://t.co/6Z7N6QIuLP
Twitter
The U.S. Special Operations School, in collaboration with @HQUSAFEAFAF hosted the bi-annual European Partnership Fl… https://t.co/egAlljufL3
Twitter
Join Department of the Air Force senior leaders for a virtual town hall discussing the Racial Disparity Review tomo… https://t.co/s4XfTyCwEY
Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: Polish Aviation Integration 🇵🇱 The U.S. and #Poland will conduct Agile Combat Employment training during the bilateral av…
Twitter
.@TeamTyndall's 325th Munitions Squadron has a unique capability - it's the only #AirForce Munitions Squadron certi… https://t.co/RMmTapKK3F
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: Today marks the beginning of National #HispanicHeritageMonth! Visit our Spotlight page at https://t.co/Lhe9Hxc454 to lea…
Twitter
Hear why this #Airman chose to get vaccinated. @SecAFOfficial directed the COVID-19 vaccine implementation guideli… https://t.co/TFpjBtHUuq
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,375,981
Follow Us