What Is an Army NCO?


Army NCOs, non-commissioned officers, are the backbone of the military leadership. They provide the leadership, guidance and training that enlisted soldiers require.


  • Drawn from the ranks of enlisted personnel, non-commissioned officers take care of the day-to-day tasks of leadership that are crucial to the running of a unit. NCOs train, guide and supervise enlisted troops. They are also a crucial part of missions as they are often faced with hard decisions and difficult situations.


  • Army NCO training is based on a three faceted approach: institution training, self-development and operational assignments. Within this continual cycle of education, the ultimate end product is an effective, decisive leader who is an asset to the unit and their ability to fight effectively in battle.

Transition to Leadership

  • A soldier promoted to NCO has to be aware of the many facets associated with leadership, including responsibility for those below, awareness of the army mission and ability to communicate effectively. They must make sure that both individual and unit duties are carried out correctly and efficiently. The practice of operational missions, leadership training and related courses help the new officer to be successful in this new role.


  • The NCO, responsible for enlisted personnel, must be fully trained and ready for combat in any situation. Inspections, discipline, training soldiers on their duties, supporting other NCOs and officers in mission objectives are all part of an NCO's daily role. The officer must have good communication skills, be objective when handling problems and be able to get done what needs to be done.


  • Working directly with the unit and related personnel, the NCO is the crucial link for battle readiness and unit success. Their comprehensive training, leadership ability and successful completion of mission objectives makes the army strong and ready for any conflict that arises.

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  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of US Army Africa
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