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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
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 an outsider, someone of... 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
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 what we have... 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?
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 those challenged traditions and... Read More

Podcast: Who is Training the Platoon Leader?

Podcast: 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 in the NCO Guide podcast #4... Read More

Ontology of NCO as the Backbone of the Army

Ontology of NCO as the Backbone of the Army
  Soldier’s, Marines, and now 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 by Rudyard Kipling in... Read More

The Case for an Enlisted Leadership University

The Case for an Enlisted Leadership University
Has the time come to retitle a revered institution with a name that more accurately reflects the breath and scope of what is going on at the Sergeants Major Academy? The US Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA) was established by General Order 98 in July 1972 and began educating selected noncommissioned officers in January 1973. According to their first Command Sergeant Major... Read More

How to be promoted to Sergeant without even Trying

How to be promoted to Sergeant without even 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 again. In a recent Army... Read More

Tolerating the shift in where Soldiers listen

Tolerating the shift in where Soldiers listen
Like all new roll-outs it is about getting your branding right, and this blog is no different. Though we have been around for a couple of years due to the new direction I am taking in my communication efforts, my project here requires a make-over. That, and the podcast effort is going to be somewhat revolutionary, but not likely to... 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
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 she didn’t even want to try... Read More