Non-commissioned officers (NCO) are the enlisted member of the army who holds rank by appointment rather than by commission or warrant. They are appointed and given authority by a commissioned officer. They are commonly the military personnel in the military camps or bases. They could be the administrative personnel or the advisers of the officer corps. The group that normally acted as the junior management of the military is called the non-commissioned officer corps, responsible for the training of the young military men. The NCO corps is an essential part of the military organization more so the well trained and experienced corps.
They are the important component of the Western armies. They are also recognized as the model and real backbone of their service and serve as advisors to the young officers and the supervisors the lower-ranking enlisted personnel. The composition of NCO corps is the lower rank officers such as all the grades of sergeant. In some military organization, the corporals and warrant officers are included. In the navy, all the grades of lower rank officers are NCOs although not all naval organizations classified their petty officers as NCOs. The centurions of the Roman Army before are like the NCOs of the present time.
The comparison could be right and so close in several aspects although the Roman centurions handle more men similar to an officer today. While a centurion held 60 to 1,200 men, a decurion handled a smaller group and they are like the junior NCOs today (“Non-commissioned officer”). All the sergeants in all the branches of the US military (US Army, US Air Force and US Marine Corps) are considered NCOs, while in the Army and Marines only the Corporals are included. On the other hand, all the ranks of the Petty Officers of the United States Navy and United States Coast Guard are appointed as Junior NCOs.
They act as the technical officers as well as the first line supervisors of the organization. The three Chief Petty Officers in the Navy and Coast Guard who occupy the top three enlisted grades are called senior noncommissioned officers. They have bigger responsibility and wider scope of authority. They handle bigger groups of service members; serve as model and teachers of the junior officers, as well as advisers of the senior officers particularly on subjects concerning their areas of responsibility. The senior NCOs in the Marine Corps are named as Staff NCOs. All the ranks between E-6 and E-9 are included in this category.
Chosen few senior NCOs are assigned to serve at the highest levels of their service. They act as adviser of their service Secretary and Chief of Staff on all issues related to the organization in general which includes the welfare and deployment of the enlisted men (“Non-commissioned officer”). The duties and functions of a noncommissioned officer are vital and therefore it must be considered seriously. One specific duty of an NCOs, and considered the highest priority, is to for the welfare of the soldiers. The NCOs assigned to this are normally the corporals and sergeants who should have genuine concern for their soldiers.
Officers should deeply recognize the personality and individuality of their soldiers. Give the best consideration and support in their training process to become better men and soldiers who are cooperative and proficient in all the undertakings of the team. Along the training process, their self-esteem and capability to survive the worst situation will be developed and these will be their important arm in their battle in the future. Better trained soldiers will have the better chance of surviving their battles and they owe their acquired skills from the NCOs with the primary duty of training them.
Being a well-developed individual, assigned tasks by the NCOs are being carried out properly and effectively. Good leaders are good followers that carry out tasks assigned by his officers with full of interest and eagerness treating them with full respect. They believe on the capability of their officer in handling the problem and consider his decision as the most feasible solution. The three types of duties of the Non-commissioned officers are the specified duties, the directed and the third one is the implied (“Duties, Responsibilities and Authority of the NCO…”).
Specified duties are the ones inherent to their jobs and positions. Different directives like the Army regulations and the general orders the Department of the Army (DA). Also included is the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), those stated in the soldier’s manuals, the publication of the Army Training and Evaluation Program (ARTEP) and MOS job descriptions where their duties are stated clearly. One very specific duty of NCO is to make sure that the soldiers are trained properly and at the same time maintain their neat and clean personality (“Duties, Responsibilities and Authority of the NCO…”).
Directed duties are those that are not precisely stated in any manual and not included in their regular duties. These are just told to them orally or stated in writing. Directed duties include being in charge of quarters (CQ) or serving as sergeant of the guard, staff duty officer, company training NCO and NBC NCO, where these duties are not found in the unit’s organization charts (“Duties, Responsibilities and Authority of the NCO…”). Implied duties are those that are normally connected and supportive to the specified duties. These duties are not necessarily stated in the MOS job position.
Although these are not clearly stated, these are commonly implied in the instructions. The main objective of these is to upgrade the quality of work performance and give support to the unit to be able to attain maximum level of achievements. These duties commonly depend on the enthusiasm and eagerness of the NCOs. They perform the job efficiently because they approve it and not because his officers ask him to do so. One specific example of this is when they are doing an in-rank inspection everyday to make sure that their men are in proper uniform and right equipment (“Duties, Responsibilities and Authority of the NCO…”).