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.