This week is NCO Week on Fort Huachuca, a time set aside on the Army base to honor and recognize the professional leaders of the institution.
The Army may recognize the corp as the “backbone of the Army,” but what is an NCO, and what is their importance in the Army?
To start, “NCO” stands for “noncommissioned officer,” a rank promotion that can be obtained by an enlisted soldier. NCOs are primarily leaders, and work closely with soldiers in lower ranks as they lead, train, and care for those under them.
At the NCO Induction Ceremony conducted as part of NCO Week, inductee Sgt. Gregory Crump helped explain the roles of NCOs in the Army.
“We are the experience, really, the physical experience” leading the units, said Crump, who was entering the 40th Expeditionary Signal Battalion. He describes that his role as an NCO will be as “a supervisor,” “a leader,” and “a big brother, almost.”
“Without us, soldiers are lost. We are their solid guidance,” adds Crump. “The physical guidance.”
Crump explains that to become an NCO, he had to exhibit and develop leadership skills and go to a NCO school, where he had to pass promotion boards and accumulate promotion points by through field skills, leadership and academic achievement, and more.
So, how is all that different from a commissioned officer? “A commissioned officer gives orders and sets standards, and NCOs enforce them,” explained Crump as a basic distinguishment. Though commissioned officers outrank NCOs, both positions share leadership responsibilities in the Army and exemplify drive, dedication, and character.