Modern Volunteer Army: Code for Noncommissioned Officer Candidate Course

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In 1973, the United States Army was in turmoil as a result of the Vietnam War drawing to an end.[1] One of the conceived solutions was the "Modern Volunteer Army", which included the Noncommissioned Officer Candidate Course. Many sergeants were trained only to perform one specific job, for example, squad leaders in infantry units, and were no longer uniformly regarded as the well-rounded professionals of previous generations.[1] The overhaul of the NCO corps involved rewriting Field Manual 22-100: Leadership. One of the organizations dedicated to rebuilding the NCO corps was the NCO Subcommittee of the Command and Leadership Committee in the Leadership Department at the United States Army Infantry School at Fort Benning. Besides training soldiers at the Noncommissioned Officers Academy, these NCOs also developed instructional material to be used throughout the Army. During a brainstorming session, SFC Earle Brigham was credited with writing on a sheet of paper the three letters "N C O",[1] and the committee began building a creed, a "yardstick by which to measure themselves." When it was ultimately approved, the NCO Creed was printed on the inside cover of the special texts issued to students, beginning in 1974. Though the Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer was submitted higher for approval and distribution Army-wide, it was not formalized by an official army publication until 11 years later.[1] The Army dedicated 2009 as the "year of the NCO".[2]

|“ |No one is more professional than I. I am a Noncommissioned Officer, a leader of soldiers. As a noncommissioned |” | | |officer, I realize that I am a member of a time honored corps, which is known as "the Backbone of the Army." I | | | |am proud of the Corps of Noncommissioned Officers and will at all times conduct myself so as to bring credit | | | |upon the Corps, the military service and my country regardless of the situation in which I find myself. I will | | | |not use my grade or position to attain pleasure, profit or personal safety. | | | |Competence is my watch-word. My two basic responsibilities will always be uppermost in my mind -- accomplishment| | | |of my mission and the welfare of my soldiers. I will strive to remain technically and tactically proficient. I | | | |am aware of my role as a noncommissioned officer. I will fulfill my responsibilities inherent in that role. All | | | |soldiers are entitled to outstanding leadership; I will provide that leadership. I know my soldiers and I will | | | |always place their needs above my own. I will communicate consistently with my soldiers and never leave them | | | |uninformed. I will be fair and impartial when recommending both rewards and punishment. | | | |Officers of my unit will have maximum time to accomplish their duties; they will not have to accomplish mine. I | | | |will earn their respect and confidence as well as that of my soldiers. I will be loyal to those with whom I | | | |serve; seniors, peers and subordinates alike. I will exercise initiative by taking appropriate action in the | | | |absence of orders. I will not compromise my integrity, nor my moral courage. I will not forget, nor will I allow| | | |my comrades to forget that we are professionals, Noncommissioned Officers, leaders![3] | |

It is notable that the initial letters of each paragraph are, in order, N C O. Marine Corps [edit]

NCO creed [edit]
The NCO creed is part of the syllabus of the Command Sponsored Corporals Course, colloquially known as "Corporals Course".[4] The current version reads: |“ |I am an NCO dedicated to training new Marines and influencing the old. I am forever conscious of each Marine |” | | |under my...
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