On President’s Day, February 20, Marine Corps Sergeant Major Bryan Battaglia visited the CIR office in downtown Los Angeles to learn about the center’s partnerships, research, and innovative projects, including the development of the Virtual Patient. Sgt. Maj. Battaglia is the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and is the senior non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Armed Forces. He serves as the principal military advisor to the JCS Chairman, General Martin Dempsey, and the Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, on all matters involving joint and combined total force integration, utilization, health of the force and joint development for enlisted personnel.
Sgt. Maj. Battaglia was briefed by CIR staff and then met with a group of veterans and MSW students from the USC School of Social Work to discuss the issues that they believe are most important in helping veterans and their families reintegrate into the community. The group discussed the particular effects that post-traumatic stress has on veterans, such as suicide and a higher rate of homelessness, as well as the importance of ‘leaving no one behind,’ even after a servicemember separates from the military and re-enters the civilian world.