What It Means to Be an Nco

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Self-confi dence, the abilities to listen and communicate, and a view of the larger picture are all skills required of a noncommissioned offi cer (NCO). The mission of an NCO is to fulfi ll what we call the “backbone” of the Army. We are individuals who can hear and understand a mission and then take the necessary steps to make it happen. It is an honor to serve as an NCO because I take pride in leading my Soldiers to success. I take pride in contributing to the wider goals of my unit by helping other people succeed. These tasks require me to invest in individual Soldiers, to lead a group of people by instruction and example, and to properly represent the missions and morals of the 82d Airborne Division.
As an NCO, I must know
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As the Army’s “backbone,” an NCO must relate to all parts of the unit to get a job done. This often means personal sacrifi ce or letting go of personal expectations so that
Soldiers succeed and the mission is accomplished.
An NCO must work alongside the Soldiers, communicate with all areas of the unit, and solve problems to make the impossible happen. These everyday jobs point to the ultimate goal of an NCO—to bring every Soldier home safely and to serve the Nation with excellence. In war and at home, an NCO is responsible for the safety and success of Soldiers. An NCO is accountable for every mission and jump and for the lives at stake. All of these things are for the ultimate good of the Nation.
If an NCO fails at leadership, communication, or problem solving, Soldiers do not follow orders or do not perform to their highest potential, which can lead to a failed mission, injury, or death. If NCOs fail, they fail the entire unit—every Soldier they lead and every Soldier who leads them. This means that NCOs must always challenge themselves to be better, work harder, and learn more every day. Good NCOs place the needs of their unit, their Soldiers, and their Nation above their own

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