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Inconsistency of writing non-commissioned officer versus noncommissioned officer

Inconsistency of writing non-commissioned officer versus noncommissioned officer
Non-Commissioned Officer vs. Noncommissioned Officer To hyphenate, or not to hyphenate—that is the question at hand today. So there it is, you’re a noncommissioned officer, and now you have to write out your new job title. How do you write it? Is it noncommissioned officer or non-commissioned officer? Some might argue that it simply depends on who you ask. Other,... Read More

Thank You For Your Service: Respecting Those In Uniform, And The Entire Organization They Represent

Thank You For Your Service: Respecting Those In Uniform, And The Entire Organization They Represent
DOD LGBT Pride Month event celebration cake. The celebration was held on the Pentagon Courtyard, June 8, 2016. The event is an opportunity for the entire DOD community to come together and celebrate the great diversity of the American people in a festive, affirming atmosphere. President Barack Obama signed a proclamation, May 31, 2016, designating June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual... Read More

Increased pay is vital to recruiting and troop retention

Increased pay is vital to recruiting and troop retention
Increased pay is vital to recruiting and troop retention Employee retention is hard for any company. When even Forbes 500 companies spend time brainstorming ways to keep their best and brightest, it’s no surprise that the military could stand to do the same sort of soul-searching.   Retaining military service members has its own brand of unique challenges, but, when... Read More

Does Holiday Exodus impact soldier training?

Does Holiday Exodus impact soldier training?
Does Holiday Exodus impact soldier training? Another year has come and gone, sending us all back to schools, jobs, and obligations we’ve put off to be with family—or maybe binge watch our favorite TV show. Do you remember what you were doing that final day in the office of 2017? I know I don’t—except for maybe willing the time to... Read More

The SMA office and position turned 50 this year…

The SMA office and position turned 50 this year…
…AND NO ONE NOTICED. FOR TODAY’S SOLDIERS, THE POSITION OF SERGEANT MAJOR OF THE ARMY APPEARS AS NATURAL AS A SQUAD LEADER. But 50 short years ago it was not so. It was on the Fourth of July 1966 that the Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Harold K. Johnson approved the establishment of the position of Sergeant Major... Read More

Historic First: A Medal for Sgt. William H. Carney

Historic First: A Medal for Sgt. William H. Carney
Sgt. William H. Carney Born in 1840 to a slave mother in Norfolk, Virginia, who was later freed upon her owner’s death in 1854, William H. Carney eventually settled in New Bedford, Massachusetts and prepared himself to enter the ministry. 8 In 1863 the Union Army began to organize colored units, and one of the first was the 54th Massachusetts... Read More

Short History of the Specialist Rank

Short History of the Specialist Rank
When considering the discussion for reintroducing of senior specialist ranks to the US Army one must reflect on the trials and tribulations of the past. Here is a short history of the US Army Specialist by CSM (Ret.) Dan Elder. The Specialist Rank When Washington assumed the role as Commander in Chief of the fledgling Continental Army in 1775, it... Read More

Interview with the Sergeant Major of Army Public Affairs

Interview with the Sergeant Major of Army Public Affairs
INTERVIEWEE: SGM Jose Velazquez Jr., Sergeant Major of Army Public Affairs, Pentagon INTERVIEWER: CSM Dan Elder, US Army, Retired This is one in our series of interviews with influential noncommissioned officers, these are leaders in key or strategic positions who are influencing the Army and the Noncommissioned Officer Corps. This interview is with SGM Jose Velazquez Jr., who serves as the Sergeant... Read More

The Changing Role of the Command Sergeant Major

The Changing Role of the Command Sergeant Major
This is from a presentation I gave to the US Military Historian’s annual meeting 8/6/2006 while serving as the 12th command Sergeant Major of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.  The Changing Role of the Command Sergeant Major Command Sergeant Major Daniel K. Elder Frederick von Steuben, author of the first drill manual for George Washington’s Army, wrote in 1774 that the Sergeant... Read More

Interview with the War College CSM

Interview with the War College CSM
INTERVIEWEE: CSM Malcolm Parrish, Command Sergeant Major, US Army War College; INTERVIEWER: CSM Dan Elder, US Army, Retired This is one in our series of interviews with noncommissioned officers from the field, as well as those in key or strategic positions who are influencing the Army and the Noncommissioned Officer Corps. This interview is with CSM Malcolm Parrish, Command Sergeant Major,... Read More

Ontology of NCO as the Backbone of the Army

Ontology of NCO as the Backbone of the Army
Ontology of NCO Soldier’s, Marines, and now captured in the Armed Forces NCO/PO Book, hear told the story of the noncommissioned officer as “the Backbone of the Army,” but where does the phrase come from? It is easy to think how the Backbone holds up the body and understand the correlation, but few realize the phrase was first coined in 1896... Read More

Interview with the Army IG Sergeant Major

Interview with the Army IG Sergeant Major
This is one in our series of interviews with noncommissioned officers from the field, as well as those in key or strategic positions who are influencing the Army and the Noncommissioned Officer Corps. This interview is with Sergeant Major Allen Fritzsching, IG Sergeant Major and Senior Enlisted Advisor to The Inspector General, US Army.  Below are his responses to our... Read More

How to be promoted to Sergeant without even Trying

How to be promoted to Sergeant without even Trying
Promoted To Sergeant Without Trying Imagine my surprise when I read that even without going before a promotion board and without the recommendation of a commander or a board of senior noncommissioned officers that a soldier can be promoted to the rank of Sergeant. No wonder that some think the noncommissioned officer corps is not professional,  the bean counters strike... Read More

You are a Command Sergeant Major, together we are Command Sergeants Major

You are a Command Sergeant Major, together we are Command Sergeants Major
Together we are Command Sergeants Major I got a frantic text from a former soldier who is working for the Army and her boss, an Army Veteran, directed that she was to brief a senior sergeant major and he was demanding that she address him as “command sergeants major.” She was contacting me to make sure she wasn’t crazy and... Read More

It’s Noncommissioned Officer (not Non-commissioned)

It’s Noncommissioned Officer (not Non-commissioned)
It’s Noncommissioned Officer In many written forms by private to general. I often see the word written in the British fashion with a hyphen, which is not the US spelling for a noncommissioned officer. I see mass produced documents, posters, memoranda and plaques with that simple error. Heck, even Linkedin is trying to correct me, but they don’t obvious read... Read More