Army Leadership: The Role of NCOs

Subject: Political
Type: Profile Essay
Pages: 4
Word count: 1235
Topics: Army, Management, Teamwork


There are many roles that the NCOs perform in mission command based on the six principles. They are responsible for the training, keeping their soldiers and equipment in the best shape, making their, preparing the leaders for tomorrow and those who will replace them. Despite the numerous challenges and improvement required to be made in the pursuit of better defining the roles of the NCOs this has not hindered their performance. By ensuring that their duties are met and quickly performed they ensure that the intent and commands of the commanders are met.

The term Mission Command is taken from the previous command and control, and the old battle command. These were commander based systems with a top-down command chain. Because of this belief Mission Command is seen as Commander and Officer-business only. This is a misconception as it is leader-business as well. In this light Noncommissioned Officers then have a big role to play in Mission Command, though this role was lost in translation of what Mission Command is (Moyer, 2016).

Mission command has three distinguished parts. These are command philosophy, mission command in warfighting role, and mission command systems. In all these three parts noncommissioned officers play a very important role in ensuring mission success.

The mission philosophy according to the Army Doctrine Publication 6-0 is the implementation of authority and guidance by a commander using orders to enable disciplined initiative and to empower agile and change-accepting leaders in the carrying out of operations. There are many responsibilities that a noncommissioned officer should carry out in the course of their duty and in an exercise of the commander’s intent. This paper focuses on the responsibilities of the NCOs and how they enable the achievement of the commander’s rule and intent (Moyer, 2016).

Preparing Soldiers for Military Operations 

As a noncommissioned officer preparing soldiers for military operations envisages the largest part of one’s duties. To do this it entails continuous education, training, experience, and self-development. NCOs can achieve this by liaising with NATO and non-NATO educational organizations to ensure that both they and their soldiers receive the best military training available that is consistent with command standards of operation (Koester, 2016). 

In all armies NCOs act as the epicenter of maintaining the skillset, fitness levels, and professional conduct. By so doing when a commander gives a directive and communicates their intent all the soldiers are in a good enough state to execute what is required of them. 

Enhance the Mental and Physical Well-Being of Soldiers

At the tactical level of any army operation NCOs are involved in direct leadership on a day to day basis. At the strategic level of operations, the noncommissioned officers are institutional heads however they have very little control over the troops. They serve as the principal advisors to the commanders and the group being commanded on policy change implementation and formulation that affects the personnel, their families, and civilians. They act as advisors by providing feedback to the concerned persons on matters that affect their troops. 

Maintenance of Standards of Performance of Soldiers and Equipment 

Never pass an error. As a noncommissioned officer, one acts as a detector and check and correct constantly. As a leader, the NCO is supposed to maintain high standards of dressing, equipment maintenance. This is because your subordinates always scrutinize what you do. Also to be able to judge or correct someone then you have to hold very high standards and not make the same mistakes you intend to correct. Proper equipment ensures that the soldiers are ready to carry out any command given to them successfully (Staff, 2015).

Plan and Lead Unit Activities 

To perform this role one has to use their initiative and not solely depend on commands and directives receive from their superiors.  

These events include but are not limited to ceremonial events, sports events, and even social activities. Other activities are training and conducted daily within the different units. Such training activities are considered as the baseline of collective training and the NCO is in charge of ensuring that their soldiers pose these basic skills (Staff, 2015).

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Advise On and Implement the Commander’s Policies 

This is one of the paramount roles that the noncommissioned officers play. This role is inherent to the success of the whole organization and operations. This role also opens up a platform for open and frank discussions between the NCOs and their superiors on matters relating to the command. This makes it easy for the NCO to explain the requirements of the command to other personnel.

Advice should be based on evidence, experience and research, it should never be made on the premise of emotions or personal opinion. The advice can come from information obtained from a noncommissioned officer’s network. It is thus of great importance to have a strong network of other NCOs in different places.

Despite the role of being an advisor, the NCO is not a decision maker. As such the advice they provide is just that advice. Whether it is followed or not is left entirely to the discretion of the commander. It is then important for an NCO to understand that once a decision has been made they are required to support and implement it as if they are the ones who made it. After that, they are to monitor and correct the activities of the organization to ensure that they are in line with the commander’s intent and report any deviations that they cannot correct for further measures to be taken (Koester, 2016).  

Preparing Leaders of Tomorrow 

Preparing for one’s replacement is one of the roles of the NCO. In the course of preparing for one’s successor, a noncommissioned officer should also prepare for higher duties. They thus should always ensure that they maintain high standards of professional military education. Support to subordinates to improve their skill set through education is also as important as undertaking the activity yourself. Continuous education is important since the current world is dynamic and the troop as wells as the supervisors must keep up with the changes (Koester, 2016).  

Responsibility entails being accountable for what one does or fails to do. As a noncommissioned officer, one is responsible to fulfill their individual duties and to ensure that their teams and units are successful. Any duty because of the NCOs position in the leadership hierarchy is a responsibility to execute that duty. Personal conduct is important to be held in the highest regard and cannot be commanded as it requires initiative. 

As a leader, it is your responsibility to ensure that soldiers under your command clearly understand what is required of them as individuals, as members of a team and in general as members of the US army. Commanders set the overall policies, commands, and intents but all leaders are required to provide guidance, resources, assistance and the required supervision in exercise ad accomplishment of their supervisor’s demands (Army Guides, 2016). 

Even though NCOs are currently and effortlessly working within the commander’s frameworks of policy and command there is no formal doctrine dictating the NCOs role in mission command. By adding some formal framework to clearly define the NCOs vision and mission in mission command doctrines will enable better performance. Since noncommissioned officers’ role is to train the soldiers by having a plan to state their roles will give more confidence and power to fulfill this role (Staff, 2015).

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Did you like this sample?
  1. Army Guides. (2016, April 16). Duties, Responsibilities, and Authority explained. 
  2. Koester, J. (2016). NCOs Have an Important Role in Mission Command. NCO Journal, 22-54.
  3. Moyer, C. D. (2016, April 14). Roles and Responsibilities of the Non-Commissioned Officer Tactical to Strategic. 
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