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NCO Journal April 2015 Articles

The official magazine of noncommissioned officer professional development

The importance of broadening our NCO Corps

By Command SGT. MAJ. John A. Murray 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment
and SGT. MAJ. Jason Mosher, XVIII Airborne Corps

As young Soldiers going through basic training in the late 1980s, we were taught that when given an order by an officer or a noncommissioned officer, you executed that order without question. You didn’t ask why you needed to do it, and you certainly didn’t argue about the justification for doing it. You simply did it because you knew, unequivocally, that it was the right thing to do. I believe that this lack of questioning was based on an internal trust and respect in our leadership, which was taught to us at an early age.

Article published on: April 30, 2015


Tools available to help NCOs lead training

By Jonathan (Jay) Koester - NCO Journal

As Soldiers prepared for duty in Afghanistan or Iraq during the past 13 years, much of the planning and resourcing for their training was handled without NCOs needing to think much about it. The training was laid out to quickly prepare Soldiers to serve in a war zone.

Article published on: April 28, 2015


NCO Promotions get Tougher this Year; More Changes Ahead

Pablo Villa

Broad changes for enlisted promotions took effect March 2. More are expected later this year. The most recent comprehensive list of changes to Army Regulation 600-8-19 are tied to the reduction in size of the force, Army Chief of Staff Raymond T. Odierno said Jan. 6 during a virtual town hall event at Fort Lee, Va. During the past 10 years, the Army peaked at a force level of about 570,000 Soldiers. That number is scheduled to dip to 450,000 by the end of 2017.

Article published on: April 23, 2015


NCOs Integral to Enabling the President to Communicate Anytime, Anywhere

By Michael L. Lewis - NCO Journal

Clad in smart suits, they blend into the bevy of staff members, reporters and security personnel who surround the president of the United States during his day-to-day activities. Yet it is this unique uniform that camouflages the service members working in the White House Communications Agency, whose no-fail mission is to enable the nation’s top leader to communicate with the government, military and world, whether that be in the Oval Office or on the other side of the globe.

Article published on: April 21, 2015


Pilot Program Eases NCOs Transition to Army Reserve

By 1LT. Barry Stevenson, 310th SC(E) Public Affairs

As the active-duty Army draws down on their numbers, there will be quality NCOs making adjustments to their career plans. Last year, Fort Hood, Texas, was chosen to host a pilot program for Soldiers who have come within reach of their estimated time of separation window.

Article published on: April 17, 2015


What NCOs Need to Know About the New Tattoo Policy

By Clifford Kyle Jones - NCO Journal

The Army has revised its tattoo policy again —the third time in just more than a year. On April 10, Army Regulation 670-1 was updated to remove restrictions on the number and size of tattoos on the forearm and the leg below the knee. Soldiers and recruits are now allowed appropriate tattoos of any size anywhere on their body except their head, neck and most of their hands (AR 670-1 allows one “ring” tattoo per hand.)

Article published on: April 16, 2015


Soldiers, Families of Fallen Come First

By Martha C. Koester - NCO Journal

When it comes to taking care of their own, noncommissioned officers at the Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operations Center and the Soldier Programs and Services Division, fully embrace their mission to make Soldiers and their families a No. 1 priority. Whether they are processing an award for Soldiers injured in combat or coordinating efforts to notify a fallen Soldier’s next of kin, both divisions at U.S. Army Human Resources Command at Fort Knox, Ky., work diligently behind the scenes to honor their commitment to Soldiers, the deceased, missing, injured or ill.

Article published on: April 14, 2015


Wounded Soldiers Compete in Army Trials for a Shot at the Warrior Games

By Meghan Portillo - NCO Journal

Retired Sgt. Scotty Hasting closed his eyes, blocking out the surrounding distractions. He took a deep breath and focused on the feel of the bow in his hand before opening his eyes and letting his arrow fly during the Army Trials on March 31 at Fort Bliss, Texas.

Article published on: April 9, 2015


National Training Center Leans on NCOs in Shift to Create High-Caliber Decisive Action Training Environment

By Pablo Villa - NCO Journal

The National Training Center has seemingly always been held in high regard. The 1,200-square-mile installation at Fort Irwin, Calif., is the Army’s premier combat training center. That’s because it is the only training ground in the country where brigade-sized units can engage in full-scale force-on-force and live-fire training. The ability to exercise all of a unit’s capabilities in a realistic environment has fueled scores of successful deployments.

Article published on: April 7, 2015


This Month in NCO History: April 3, 1969 — An Army of One in the Mekong Delta

Pablo Villa

Sgt. Ed Eaton had one bad day at the shooting range en route to failing his first go-round at sniper school. But difficult times never deterred Eaton, in fact, they helped him rise to the occasion. His upbringing in rural Oregon by a retired Marine father included regimented discipline. He joined the National Guard in 1965 while still in high school before joining the Army in 1968, eschewing the Marine Corps to pursue a career as a combat medic. But the Army had different plans, assigning Eaton to an infantry unit where he proved his mettle as a sharpshooter while working as a radio operator.

Article published on: April 2, 2015