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NCO Journal August 2016 Articles

The official magazine of noncommissioned officer professional development

NCO Forges Valuable Partnerships with Veterans at Natick

By Martha C. Koester - NCO Journal

When he first arrived at Natick Soldier Systems Center for duty as 1st sergeant of the Headquarters Research and Development Detachment at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, 1st Sgt. Miguel A. Martinez Jr. had heard the assignment in Massachusetts wouldn’t be a typical one. “My response was the first sergeant position is the same regardless of where you are and what you’re doing because your first and foremost priority is the health and welfare of the Soldier and then to try to advance the organization,” Martinez said.

Article published on: August 30, 2016

Green Beret Killed By IED in Afghanistan

NCO Journal Staff Report

Staff Sgt. Matthew V. Thompson, 28, of Irvine, California, died Aug. 23, of wounds received from an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Thompson was assigned to A Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. Thompson was on his first deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. He had previously deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

Article published on: August 29, 2016

This Month in NCO History: Aug. 12, 1881 — Buffalo Soldier Repels Apache Attacks

By Pablo Villa - NCO Journal

1st Sgt. George Jordan was a Buffalo Soldier, part of the famed group of African-American men who served after the Civil War and into the 20th century. As such, Jordan was not immune to the inequality faced by veterans of the segregated regiments. After his days in the Army, he struggled to find help when his health declined dramatically, being denied admission to the hospital at the now-defunct Fort Robinson in northwest Nebraska.

Article published on: August 25, 2016

Camp Lemonnier Offers NCOs Joint, Coalition Development Opportunities

By Jonathan (Jay) Koester - NCO Journal

With its strategic location in the Horn of Africa, Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti is an important part of the U.S. military’s efforts to combat terrorism in the Mideast and East Africa. In fact, Camp Lemonnier became the first and only U.S. installation on the continent of Africa shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The camp’s unique place on the African continent provides NCOs deployed there opportunities found at few other places.

Article published on: August 24, 2016

Assignment to U.S. Embassy Leads NCO to Unexpected Professional Development

By Jonathan (Jay) Koester - NCO Journal

Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Johnson has been deployed multiple times, but sometimes a mission still surprises him, such as acting as assistant liaison officer at the U.S. Embassy in Djibouti. Johnson’s primary branch is civil affairs, where he typically joins a team of Soldiers to work with the local populace to identify the locals’ needs, wants and solutions. That’s what he expected to be doing in Djibouti, when he was called instead to the U.S. Embassy, serving as a line of contact between the U.S. Departments of Defense and State. It was not a job he felt ready for.

Article published on: August 23, 2016

Soldiers Shine at Olympics As Runner Wins, Loses, Wins Silver Medal

By Pablo Villa - NCO Journal

While he holds the distinction of being an All-American runner from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Spc. Paul Chelimo never won an NCAA championship. Now, he’s an Olympic medalist. But the path to the silver medal claimed by Chelimo on Saturday night in the men’s 5,000-meter race at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, wasn’t easy. In fact, it was downright unusual.

Article published on: August 22, 2016

NCO Ranked In Top 10 Heading Into Final Day of Modern Pentathlon

By Pablo Villa - NCO Journal

No American has ever won the modern pentathlon since its inception at the Olympic Games in 1912. An NCO is in a decent position to be the first. Sgt. Nathan Schrimsher heads into the final day of the competition Saturday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in ninth place overall. Schrimsher, a motor transport operator and member of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program at Fort Carson, Colorado, is America’s lone competitor in the modern pentathlon.

Article published on: August 19, 2016

WCAP Soldier-Athlete Will Run For Gold at Rio Olympics

By Pablo Villa - NCO Journal

Nine runners were between Spc. Paul Chelimo and the finish line at Nilton Santos Stadium. The Army water treatment specialist and member of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program was in 10th place during the final lap of the second semifinal heat of the 5,000-meter race at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. With 350 meters to go and such a seemingly insurmountable deficit to overcome, Chelimo’s gold-medal dreams seemed dashed.

Article published on: August 17, 2016

Army Athletes Continue Quest for Gold at Rio Olympics

By Pablo Villa - NCO Journal

The gold-medal chase is still on for several Soldier-athletes taking part in the 2016 Olympic Games as the competition enters its final week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sgt. Hillary Bor continued to impress in his unlikely trek to the Games by winning his semifinal heat Monday in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 8:25.01. Bor’s time ranks sixth overall among competitors. He will run in the 3,000-meter steeplechase final Wednesday morning.

Article published on: August 16, 2016

OCS Turns 75 with More Opportunities than Ever For NCOs to Become Officers

By Lisa Ferdinando - Department of Defense News

A recent change in eligibility allows enlisted personnel up to age 33 to apply to become officers. Also, there’s no longer a requirement to serve in the Army for six years before going to Officer Candidate School. The current guidance — published just prior to the 75th anniversary of OCS this year — is contained in Military Personnel Message 15-270 “FY16 U.S. Army Federal Officer Candidate School Program Announcement.”

Article published on: August 10, 2016

11 NCOs Part Of Army’s Soldier-Athlete Contingent on U.S. Olympic Team

By Pablo Villa - NCO Journal

Fifteen U.S. Army Soldiers will begin their quest for medals on the grandest stage in sports tonight as the 2016 Summer Olympics kick off in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They will be guided by some of their own as three other Soldiers will participate in the Games as coaches.

Article published on: August 5, 2016

PAO Reset Is Opportunity to Get Vital Role Right

By Master Sgt. Gary L. Qualls Jr. - NCO Journal

As the Army continues to downsize, the public affairs branch is losing positions. This is evidence it is also losing favor in the Army, despite its impact on public opinion through media relations. How the branch arrived at this state and how it can return to its “Be All You Can Be” glory days are subjects that may be the difference between winning and losing our future wars.

Article published on: August 5, 2016

'We Are Only As Strong As Our Sergeants'

By Command Sgt. Maj. Jacinto Garza Fourth Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade

After more than 15 years of persistent global conflict, the operational environment remains as complex, complicated and ambiguous as it was during previous eras in American history. Increased access to information has created an interdependence and speed that contributes to the complexity of the modern operating environment. We now have more access to information than we can fully analyze and understand.

Article published on: August 4, 2016

Fort Sill’s Move to Certify Drill Sergeants at Brigade Level Paves Way for Armywide POI

By Meghan Portillo - NCO Journal

Drill sergeants are entrusted with transforming civilian volunteers into new Soldiers. They must be symbols of excellence for new recruits, as they are everything their Soldiers know of the Army. The Army’s future rests on them and their ability to mold motivated, disciplined, fit and capable Soldiers.

Article published on: August 2, 2016

NCOs Build Bonds in Ukraine

By Sgt. 1st Class Whitney Hughes 114th Public Affairs Brigade

At most U.S. combat training centers, Observer Controller Trainers are as much a part of the landscape as the trees; they simply come with the territory. However, for Ukrainian soldiers at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center, working with these seasoned trainers is a new experience.

Article published on: August 1, 2016