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Joint Chiefs chairman welcomes military's new top enlisted member

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark A. Milley and Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Ramon "CZ" Colon-Lopez face each other and raise their right hands.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley administers the oath of office to the new Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Ramon Colon-Lopez at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., Dec. 13, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Dominique A. Pineiro)

The wife of Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Ramon "CZ" Colon-Lopez hands him a jacket.

Janet Colon-Lopez, wife of the new Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Ramon Colon-Lopez, helps her husband put on his new jacket during a change of responsibility ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., Dec. 13, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Dominique A. Pineiro)

WASHINGTON (AFNS) --

Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Wayne Troxell, retired Dec. 13, turning the position over to Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Ramon Colon-Lopez, the newly appointed senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In swearing in the new SEAC, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley, emphasized that the oath of office is sacred, noting the United States is the only nation that takes an oath to an idea. "It's an idea embedded in a piece of paper called the Constitution," he said.

Members of the military take an oath to, if necessary, "die or suffer grievous wounds for this idea, to separate from our families and sacrifice for this idea," he said. "It's a very powerful idea."

Milley said a number of nations have emulated the idea over the last two centuries and it's an idea America's enemies fear.

This idea, he said, is that gender, race, ethnicity, religion, income level and sexual preference do not matter.

"The idea says that under these colors of red, white and blue, every single one of us is an American," the chairman said. "And every one of us is born free and equal." People will rise based on their knowledge, skills, attributes and talents, and they will be judged by the content of their character, he added.

Colon-Lopez is now the fourth SEAC.