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What’s it like having an approved Defense Budget?

What’s it like having an approved Defense Budget?
Finally! It looks like a coming boom for defense buyers and defense contractors, it looks like we have a defense budget approved. This month has brought both a solution to the long-lasting defense spending freeze with the Administration’s proposed budget for the 2019 fiscal year. Hearing all these headlines and news bites in passing can be confusing to know what’s... Read More

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

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

Episode #18, Caring Leaders

Episode #18, Caring Leaders
In this month’s podcast, we highlight that Army finally beats Navy and a new Secretary of Army is proposed. The podcast topic this month is about caring leadership and we offer tips to consider to ensure that your actions match your statements. I talk about 5 considerations Army noncommissioned officer should consider when it comes to building enriched relationships with subordinate,... Read More

Lessons of von Steuben – Thoughts from the Past

Lessons of von Steuben  – Thoughts from the Past
Thoughts from the Past We all have seen images of downtrodden soldiers at Washington’s encampment in 1778 at Valley Forge…soldiers who were underclothed and resorted to rags wrapped around their feet because there were not enough shoes to go around. By all accounts, the Army was downhearted and disorganized, and Washington was in need of an effective fighting force. Enter... Read More

Spinning Flags at Change of Command

Spinning Flags at Change of Command
There are some ceremonies like the company change of command and the change of responsibility that have some key elements that are not clearly defined, so finding “a standard” is sometimes impossible. In many cases with large formations, it is usually the senior mission command HQs that creates a local policy when it comes to the gray areas surrounding ceremonies but... Read More

US Army Highly Qualified Enlisted Expert

US Army Highly Qualified Enlisted Expert
Why not maximize Noncommissioned Officer talent post-military service? Challenge Today’s Army does not have ready access to a select group of highly qualified former enlisted leaders who possess the intellectual capacity, wisdom, and expertise to assist the Force in short-term, and often complicated projects. In cultivating Soldiers for Life surely talent management does not end at retirement? The type of expertise often... Read More

Epi. #14, Getting Back to Basics

Epi. #14, Getting Back to Basics
Back to Basics In this episode CSM (Ret.) Dan Elder discusses getting back to the basics and attempts to identify a few foundational techniques company grade noncommissioned officers should master. Key to a professional leader’s style are in being grounded in the way that they operate, those basic behaviors that set them apart from others. The way we perform is usually influenced by... Read More

Neck Medal Bling

Neck Medal Bling
Last week I had the chance to attend the premier professional development forum for soldiers, the annual meeting of the Association of the United States Army. Full disclosure here, it is no secret that I am AUSA Senior Fellow and long-time supporter so let me just get in a plug. I believe regardless your profession that you should align with... Read More

Enlisted Promotions woes, 2001

Enlisted Promotions woes, 2001
“The only lesson of history is that men never learn anything from history. -George Hegel. This is a reprint of my Winter 2000-2001 article on the state of affairs concerning proposed changes to the semi-centralized promotion system, and some historically significant data points that reinforced assertions. It also highlights how we got to where we were (at the time). Though it... Read More

The Officer/Noncommissioned Officer Relationship

The Officer/Noncommissioned Officer Relationship
This is an excerpt from a paper published by the US Army Sergeants Major Academy as a research submission by CSM Terwan Crawley, the senior enlisted advisor of the 589th BSB, Fort Hood, TX. This article was in response to a course requirement and this excerpt is reprinted by permission of the author.  The disparity between officers and noncommissioned officers (NCO) in the... Read More

NCO Lessons in Leadership from Abu Ghraib

NCO Lessons in Leadership from Abu Ghraib
  This is an excerpt from a paper published in the MPRA magazine by CSM (Ret.) Jeffrey Butler, the former senior enlisted advisor of the 16th Military Police Brigade. This article was in response  to a course requirement where Butler was asked about his most challenging team assignment, the answers are timeless lessons in noncommissioned officer leadership. This excerpt is reprinted by permission of the... Read More

What’s wrong with the Change of Responsibility Ceremony?

What’s wrong with the Change of Responsibility Ceremony?
Change of Responsibility Ceremony Noncommissioned officers are expected to teach military customs, courtesies, and traditions, yet what do you do when customs and traditions either are non-standardized or are still emerging? I mean how can something be a tradition to share and hand down when it is only just now becoming mainstream? Today the Change of Responsibility Ceremony is one of... Read More

Podcast: Who is Training the Platoon Leader?

Podcast: Who is Training the Platoon Leader?
Who is Training the Platoon Leader? Please note we are aware of our technical problem and the poor sound quality. We felt it important to share this discussion and we will work harder to ensure our levels are corrected for future editions. This week on the NCO Guide CSM (Ret) Dan Elder and CSM (Ret) Archie Davis ask the question... 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