Commentary

August 16, 2012

Effective NCOs are responsible, earn trust, know their Soldiers

By Sgt. 1st Class John Phillips
USAICoE and Fort Huachuca Assistant Inspector General

During Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler’s recent visit to Fort Huachuca, several issues surfaced. The foremost issue is the Army’s lack of noncommissioned officers embodying discipline, leadership and holding Soldiers accountable for their actions.

Since combat operations began in 2001, leadership started to suffer. Current leaders say they are focused on preparing for war, but effective preparation requires strong leaders who know and understand their Soldiers. A second issue that surfaced during the sergeant major of the Army’s visit is that leaders do not know their Soldiers, even though the Army has created regulations and guidance in field manuals to assist leaders in understanding how to lead.

When a Soldier achieves the position of corporal or sergeant in the U. S. Army, he or she becomes a formal leader. A Soldier becomes an NCO, a member of a group known as “the backbone of the Army.” NCOs are the leaders with direct and daily contact with junior Soldiers, the workers who accomplish the mission.

Being an NCO is a tough, demanding, yet rewarding job. NCOs lead Soldiers at the execution level, where important day-to-day fundamental Army work is done. NCOs live and work directly with Soldiers, and NCOs are the best example Soldiers have to observe leadership in action. NCO responsibilities include identifying, teaching and using each Soldier according to their strengths while simultaneously detecting weaknesses and assisting each Soldier to overcome them. NCOs must earn the trust and confidence of their Soldiers while leading by example. NCOs must make the difficult choices and be the role model for Soldiers. As a leader, an NCO must always do what is right.

NCOs are accountable for their actions. They have duties and responsibilities, which they must execute in accordance with Army regulations. Duty is something a Soldier must do by virtue of his or her position, and it is a legal and moral obligation. A NCO’s primary duty is taking care of his or her Soldiers, which is accomplished by developing a genuine concern for their well-being. NCOs must know, and understand each Soldier well enough to train them as an individual and as a team. This knowledge and understanding does not stop at the end of the duty day. A NCO must be aware of each Soldier’s personal situation and provide guidance and assistance so the Soldier is 100-percent mission-capable at all times.

Each Soldier, especially those who have attained NCO rank, is individually responsible for his or her own personal conduct, but a NCO is also accountable for the actions of his Soldiers. As the leader, it is their responsibility to ensure Soldiers have a clear understanding of responsibilities as individuals, members of a team and as representatives of the U.S. Army. NCOs are accountable for what they or their Soldiers do or fail to do.

As a leader, it is the NCO’s responsibility to ensure commanders are aware of problems which affect the order and discipline, morale and effectiveness of the unit. Discipline is not just recommending a Soldier for punishment, but leading them and preventing incidents from happening. Methods include observing patterns of behavior and assisting Soldiers in overcoming faults, making them positive members of the team. Intervention before an incident occurs only if an NCO knows his or her Soldiers well.

The transition to becoming a NCO can be challenging and is a learning process. It is important to remember NCOs are leaders of Soldiers and must make every mission theirs. Leaders must take responsibility for their actions and those of their Soldiers. NCOs can delegate authority but not responsibility. What Soldiers do or fail to do reflects directly upon their leader. When a Soldier puts on the stripes, he or she must step up, be the leader and embody discipline, leadership and accountability.

Those with questions or concerns about NCO leadership roles should contact the Inspector General Office, 533.1144.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Photos by Staff Sgt. Steve Cortez

CSA makes first visit here, highlights unique capabilities

Photos by Staff Sgt. Steve Cortez U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno speaks with 111th Military Intelligence Brigade leadership during his visit to Fort Huachuca, AZ, Dec. 9, 2014. Fort Huachuca leadership hosted Chief o...
 
 

Avoid becoming a DUI statistic over coming holidays

As Soldiers prepare for holiday block leave and Families plan their festive holiday gatherings, Army Substance Abuse Program personnel remind Soldiers, Civilians and the community that drunk or drugged driving can be a lethal combination with disastrous consequences, even death. In Arizona, if a person driving is impaired to the slightest degree, he or she...
 
 
City of Sierra Vista

Sierra Vista receives “Purple Heart City” designation

City of Sierra Vista Sierra Vista Mayor Rick Mueller, city officials, senior leaders from Fort Huachuca and members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart stand before the sign designating Sierra Vista a Purple Heart City. T...
 

 

Parking lots can be modern-day mazes

With the holidays fast approaching, parking lots tend to get more crowded as people jostle for spaces so they can mail cards and packages and do last-minute shopping for gifts, parties and holiday dinners. Many people find parking lots are among the most confusing places to drive, according to Anastasia Dean safety and occupational health...
 
 

Civilian of the Month

Debbie Short Civilian of the Month: Debbie Short Agency: Network Enterprise Technology Command Position and duties: Civilian workforce development specialist responsible for training, education and budgeting of the civilian development program How long at current assignment: 4 years, 7 months How long in government service: 30 years today Residence: Tucson Family: Son Joshua Short, 26...
 
 

ACS offers scholarships, resiliency training

AER provides scholarships Army Emergency Relief maintains two scholarship programs — the Spouse Education Assistance Program and the Maj. Gen. James Ursano Scholarship Program for dependent children. Both scholarships provide financial assistance for students who are pursuing their first undergraduate degree. Scholarship applications will be accepted from Jan. 2 to May 1 each year for...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin