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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Army: 2009 The Year of the NCO

I started writing this article in January, and have been trying to find a way to finish it without coming off as a pompas ass.  Tell me what you think below.-D/C

All service NCO Ranks

All service NCO Ranks

2009 is the year of the NCO for the United States Army.  I find that admirable.

Unfortunately they have a “WONK” writing about it as far as I can tell.  I have been trying to write this article because I do believe having 2009 being the year of the NCO is a great thing.

This is the problem with folks who have great ideas in the military but don’t understand how to broadcast that message without putting everyone to sleep.  Need a sleep aid?  Read official correspondence.  I promise you, you will be asleep within minutes.

It’s almost like they are trying to show how “SMART” they are or puff their chests out to show how much smarts they have.. Great, go get your MBA or get a political Science Degree, and go argue with the eggheads.

Most NCO’s the new E-4’s and above are the ones your trying to target with this valuable message.  I would say if you were to ask any of them what was passed in the “POWER POINT” presentation after being shown this publication would not be able to convey what your trying to convey to them.

Doing a proclamation like this is more then putting up stodgy words and phrases on a PowerPoint.  Get away from Powerpoints, I know you ARMY officers love it.. I think you need to go through a Powerpoint Anonymous program, or a 12 step program.

Who are your audience?  What is the Avg. age of those your trying to communicate with?

Don’t get me wrong, the NCO’s and below want to be communicated with, but you just turn them off when you use your “LEADERSHIP SPEAK” from your Covey Seminars etc.

You should explain things like your trying to explain to your neighbor or your significant other.  Leave the wonk speak with the upper echelon where you fit in.

I like to tell this story as it served me well as a SNCO, (Chief Petty Officer).

After I made Chief up here in Great Lakes, I took over the Medical Department at the Reserve Center, What used to be a fractured office (Air Vs. Surface) I pulled together into one cohesive team.  How did I do this? I listened and spoke with my Subordinates (Hate that word, my team) so I understood where they were at and they understood where I was at.

Mind you the meetings I went to used lots of big words and acronyms etc.. of the current flavor the of the week of leadership style that someone had “JUST DISCOVERED”, but I never spoke to my team this way.

By doing this we created I believe the best department in the command, enough to where if one of my folks made a mistake, I.e accidentally shooting themselves in the thumb with a atropine gun (Don’t ask) they came right to me because they trusted me.  That story is for a different day though..

The way I knew I was getting through though was one winter day.  It was snowing like crazy outside, and all the E-6 and below did snow removal duty around the center.   Chief Petty Officers, or some of them at least, thought they were above that, regardless of manning etc, thought they were better then the “TEAM”.

I was not that way and I had good leadership that instilled this in me from my days at VFA-204.  (ADC(AW) Burns) We were short on manpower so I went out and started shoveling with my juniors.  About 5 minutes in.. one of my Petty Officers mussed under their breath.. “Hey Chief, look at the window”.

I turned and every CPO from the building were at their respective windows staring at me and then you could see the conversation going, wild waving of arms, etc..

5 minutes later.. All the CPO’s even the Command Chief was out there shoveling with me.  I heard about it later from them, “How could you? ” etc..

How could I? Because I listened, I understood the job they did.

While I was senior in Rank, we communicated in a way my team understood, and I never had a doubt that we had each others back.

Isn’t that how you can show the year of the NCO?  If your going to have a year and recognize them, help them understand what you want.  Show them you have been there, don’t talk down to them, talk to them.

I salute all the NCO’s, the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Air Force, as you truly are the backbone of all services.  We could not get our jobs done without your dedication and hard work.

I hope I communicated well to you.

Bravo Zulu, you deserve it.


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