Does the Current Army Promotion Board Structure Create Bad Leaders?
For more than three decades, Army Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) were part of an era of fast promotions through the NCO ranks, with some Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) seeing Soldiers make the rank of Sergeant First Class (SFC) with six to seven years time in service (TIS). Since the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, the United States military was facing a challenge that produced two separate operations simultaneously in the same region of the world which called for thousands of additional service members, especially in the ranks of NCOs. While “fast tracking” was great for the individual, it left many enlisted Soldiers, as well as Officers angry and frustrated with the lack of knowledge these young NCOs were demonstrating when it came to basic Soldiering tactics and techniques. This stems from the decades old Sergeant and Staff Sergeant promotion boards, lack of leadership time, as well as lack of diversity within major Army Component Commands (COCOMS).
Considered the “backbone of the Army,” the Army NCO corps is facing a massive shortage of qualified Soldiers thanks to the down-sizing of military forces after a decade and a half of wars, and the seasoned NCOs either separating from the military, retiring, or recovering from combat related injuries. Through a Department of Defense policy that was implemented in 2005 to expand the NCO corps, which ultimately lowered the bar for promotion,
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After the Vietnam War ended, the Marine Corps’ main focus changed from broad scale operations, to being an Expeditionary Force in Readiness. Although this was no new role for the United States Marine Corps (USMC), there have been many changes in society, technology and tactics that affect how the Corps operates. However, over the last 36 years one thing has remained the same, and that is the role of the Marine Non Commissioned Officer (NCO). With the world changing ever so rapidly, the strong values and responsibilities of the Marine NCO are now, more than ever, necessary to carry out the operations being assigned to United States Marines. The role of the NCO is characterized by their
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Performed duties of an SGL assigned to the Basic Leader Course (BLC) for the Fires Center of Excellence (FCOE). Served as the subject matter expert for all Course Management Plan (CMP) and Programs of Instruction (POI,) training and maintaining instructor certification. Responsible for the wellbeing, safety, professional development, and training of 16 Soldiers on a 22-day recurring cycle, performing nine cycles a year. During my tenure as a BLC SGL, I achieved numerous accomplishments and achievements. Received enormous praise from the United States Sergeants Major Academy (USAMA) for renovation of a Training Support Package (TSP) that was implemented across BLCs for the entire Army. Hand-picked as NCO of the Month for September 2015, selected
The previous promotion system that the Army had in place was designed to support an Army at war. Prior to the height of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army mandated that soldiers attend the appropriate level of Non-commissioned Officer Professional Development (NCOPD) course before the soldier could pin on the next rank. As the Army goes through demobilization, the Army is seeing more of a garrison style of leadership come full circle, realizing that NCO development supports combat readiness long-term. The Chief of Staff of the United States Army, General Mark Milley said “Readiness is the Army’s number one priority” (www.armytimes.com) The Army’s combat readiness depends on leaders at all levels to embrace the importance of developing NCOs at a higher level. With changing and improving weapons system and equipment, soldiers of 2020 will need to be at a higher level of readiness than ever before. It must commit to placing emphasis and value on the training, education, and experiences individuals obtain in the operational, institutional, and self-development learning domains. The U.S. Army has made leaps and bounds from where it first began and leading up to the twentieth century. “In the mid 1900’s many leaders in the Army still felt that development was done through the means of on-the-job training, and that that is where it should stay.” (www.ncohistory.com) This was about as far from the today’s system of STEP as you could possibly be.
The situation in today 's Army is clearly much different from what existed years ago. Many changes have occurred, moving the Army 's EO program from a strictly educational and training initiative to a multifaceted management program with clear goals and objectives. These goals and objectives are also an integral part of human relations and are nurtured and developed through a professional military education system.
I was lucky enough to serve as NCOIC of an S2 shop for my first assignment. I was able to utilize my experience within the Air Force Security Forces to execute my duties as Personal Security NCO and Physical Security NCO competently. I was successful and promoted to SSG on 01 October, 2007, the one and only promotion board that I have attended. I was selected based on the success of my battalion’s Physical Security Inspections to be the brigade Physical Security NCO. I served in this position admirably until I received orders to the 4th Infantry G2 ACE,
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Is the Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) Corps (Enlisted force) talent accurately managed throughout the ranks in order to sustain force readiness? During many years, the Army has continuously fulfilled analysis (studies) of the force to establish and improve management guidance over different initiatives, policies, and regulations in order to effectively organize the use of manpower. Conversely, the management of the NCO force has not been acceptably enforced and/or managed within the Army National Guard in order to meet the Army’s intent (Objective) on NCO Force management. Due to the Army National Guard’s force structure is limited in authorized positions within their
The United States Army has been and always will be a forever changing profession, striving to be the best and continuously trying to improve. Although most changes in the military are good, there are also some changes that are lacking in the interest of the Soldiers. This is because for those who have had their military occupational specialty placed on the chopping block, either to be phased out or merged into a different specialty.
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Adaptive leadership is becoming widespread in the United States Army amongst junior officers in leadership positions that require quick thinking and innovation. Leonard Wong discusses how the versatile and unpredictable enemy and situations in Iraq produces adaptable junior officers. These officers are learning to make decisions under chaotic conditions and are becoming more mentally agile. The Army is changing. The Army is transforming its capabilities in the war in Iraq to be effective and successful. General Schoomaker states that we will not accomplish our goals as a nation in the 21st century unless our Army becomes much more agile but with the capacity for long term, sustained level of conflict. The Army is in the process of
To the civilians that don’t understand much about the specifics or structure of the military this may get boring. It could also be interesting and an inside look at how the rank structure works in the Army. But, since 7% of my readership comes from a .mil address (yet I track domains), there are NCOs from all branches that I hope will learn something. Keep in mind that my comments are geared more towards the Army realm, but the basics are service wide. I’m not going to speak about the officers, just the NCOs.