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Sergeant Major of the Army Jack Tilley talks with 25 young soldiers from across Camp Zama at the installation dining facility Aug. 22 during his visit to Japan. Tilley discussed issues such as military pay, quality of life and retirement benefits.

Sergeant Major of the Army Jack Tilley talks with 25 young soldiers from across Camp Zama at the installation dining facility Aug. 22 during his visit to Japan. Tilley discussed issues such as military pay, quality of life and retirement benefits. (Courtesy of U.S. Army)

Sergeant Major of the Army Jack Tilley talks with 25 young soldiers from across Camp Zama at the installation dining facility Aug. 22 during his visit to Japan. Tilley discussed issues such as military pay, quality of life and retirement benefits.

Sergeant Major of the Army Jack Tilley talks with 25 young soldiers from across Camp Zama at the installation dining facility Aug. 22 during his visit to Japan. Tilley discussed issues such as military pay, quality of life and retirement benefits. (Courtesy of U.S. Army)

Sergeant Major of the Army Jack Tilley eats breakfast with 25 soldiers from across Camp Zama at the installation dining facility Friday during his visit to Japan.

Sergeant Major of the Army Jack Tilley eats breakfast with 25 soldiers from across Camp Zama at the installation dining facility Friday during his visit to Japan. (Courtesy of U.S. Army)

Sgt. Maj. of the Army Jack L. Tilley spoke to soldiers at Camp Zama, Japan, on Friday about uniforms, pay and education opportunities.

Tilley is retiring in January after a 37-year Army career.

Tilley said soldiers could be issued wrinkle-free battle dress uniforms and new boots next year.

He also promised to find out why Camp Zama doesn’t offer classes to help soldiers participate in first lady Laura Bush’s Troops to Teachers program.

He also said he is lobbying the Defense Department to raise base pay, which would increase retirement pay, rather than offering bonuses.

Tilley later spoke with Stars and Stripes about the military’s transformation process for troops in the Pacific. He said troops in South Korea probably would not be used for operations elsewhere in the region. He also said he favors a one-year unaccompanied tour.

Regarding morale, Tilley, who represents all enlisted soldiers, said troops and their leaders both are responsible for maintaining morale.

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