Joint Chiefs of Staff visits Fort Bragg

June 2, 2010 9:10:41 PM PDT
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff visited the Warrior Transition Battalion, the 18th Airborne Corps, and the United States Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg on Wednesday.Adm. Mike Mullen says he wanted to hear from the troops first-hand on a number of topics. He spent a little over 90 minutes at the solider support center answering questions on everything from medical benefits, to deployments, to doing away with the 'Don't ask, don't tell' policy.

Mullen had some good news for the troops, he said with a draw-down of American forces in Iraq and Army expansion, within the next 12 to 24 months soldiers could spend twice as much time at home as deployed.

"We are moving to a point over the next 12 to 24 months where units will be home two years before they have to deploy again for a year," Mullen said.

The Admiral also talked about improving military health care especially for dependants and wounded warriors. His comments were prompted by a soldier's complaint over long waits for medical appointments.

"My daughter has asthma, so when I make an appointment for her it's like six months out," Sgt. Taskila Taylor said.

Mullen also touched on the fact that the military's policy banning gays from openly serving will go away, but it will take time. And he encouraged soldiers to take part in military surveys and discussions on the issue.

Before meeting with soldiers, Mullen spent time with Army special operations soldiers, wounded warriors and widows.

Adm. Mullen is visiting military bases across the country talking with the troops, which he calls eye-opening.

Mullen the president's chief military adviser, has been the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff since 2007. He is a 1968 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.

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