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NCO Journal February 2016 Articles

The official magazine of noncommissioned officer professional development

NCO Floored By Flu Rises to Become Three-Time Olympian

By Tim Hipps - U.S. Army Installation Management Command

Staff Sgt. John Nunn lay in a crumpled heap on his hotel room floor the night of Feb. 20 in Santee, California. Nunn was severely stricken with the flu and wondering whether he’d be well enough to take part in the 50-kilometer race walk competition of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials the following day. A trip to his third Olympics was in peril as a body temperature over 100 degrees, chills, aches and burning eyes left him in the fetal position.

Article published on: February 29, 2016


Breastfeeding Policy Created By Fort Bliss NCO Serves as Model for Other Installations

By Meghan Portillo - NCO Journal

A recently revised Army directive spells out the basics of breastfeeding and lactation support, but gives commanders and supervisors leeway to balance mission requirements with the unique needs of Soldiers at their installations. As individual commands begin to create their own policies in line with the directive, they are looking to one installation’s policy as a model.

Article published on: February 25, 2016


10 NCOs Lead Army Wrestling Team to 15th Armed Forces Championships Title

By Gary Abbot - USA Wrestling

Ten NCOs won gold medals to lead the Army wrestling team to its 15th consecutive Armed Forces Championships title this weekend, bringing home team titles in both Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling. The Army wrestling team defeated the Marines 27-6 in the deciding third round of the Greco-Roman competition, which took place Saturday at Naval Base Kitsap, Washington. Both teams entered the final dual meet unbeaten. The Army previously defeated Navy and Air Force.

Article published on: February 24, 2016


DoD Extends Paid Maternity Leave To 12 Weeks

By Meghan Portillo - NCO Journal

The Department of Defense is increasing military maternity leave and instituting other changes in an effort to support military families, improve retention and strengthen the force of the future, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said earlier this month. Women throughout the joint force may take 12 weeks of fully paid maternity leave, Carter told reporters at the Pentagon.

Article published on: February 24, 2016


In Light Of New Directive, How Can NCOs Better Support Breastfeeding Soldiers?

By Meghan Portillo - NCO Journal

With the recent publication of a revised breastfeeding and lactation support policy, the Army is moving to better support breastfeeding Soldiers and encouraging installations, commanders and NCOs to take the lead.

Article published on: February 23, 2016


Staff Sergeant Awarded Soldier’s Medal after Risking Life to Save Fisherman

By Clifford Kyle Jones - NCO Journal

One day in June 2014, Staff Sgt. Joshaua J. Schneiderman had already hit the great outdoors of Alaska 10 days after a double hernia operation, pulled a motorist and his truck out of a river crossing and made his first dip-netting fishing trip to the treacherous Copper River. Then he did something really impressive.

Article published on: February 22, 2016


Thoughts on the Basics of Direct Leadership at the Platoon and Squad Level

By 1st Sgt. Mark Grover, Sgt. 1st Class David Chadburn, Sgt. 1st Class Mattheu Lee and Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Rogers

While serving as members of Soldier/NCO of the Month and promotion boards, my platoon sergeants and I noticed a knowledge gap regarding what a noncommissioned officer is and does. Questions such as, “How often should a team leader inspect his Soldiers’ rooms?” received a wide range of answers, although most of the answers seemed to be “weekly.” Focused questions regarding Physical Readiness Training, Troop Leading Procedures, Mission Command and even daily duties of the NCO seemed to yield a variety of responses.

Article published on: February 22, 2016


Soldier Job Books Get Digital Makeover

By Jonathan (Jay) Koester - NCO Journal

While talking to an experienced NCO, you may hear tales of the old job book. Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Johnson remembers. Johnson, command sergeant major at the Combined Arms Center–Training at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, may be an old Soldier, but he’s not ready to fade away. He wants to make sure the job book doesn’t fade away, either.

Article published on: February 19, 2016


Writing Award Program Will Help Highlight NCO Education, Stories

By Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Clowser - Army University Provost Command Sergeant Major

The Army University and all the words associated with it have less to do with college credit and degrees and more to do with realigning Training and Doctrine Command organizations to make a better Soldier of the future. Although our institutions are the best in the world, we as leaders must never give up on the idea that we can be better. We can be better about talent management, ensuring the right Soldiers teach our Soldiers of the future.

Article published on: February 18, 2016


This Month in NCO History: Feb. 7, 1945 — Taking the Lead and Saving Lives at Luzon

By Pablo Villa - NCO Journal

For Master Sgt. Charles L. McGaha, the lessons on remaining calm and collect under fire came quickly. McGaha was part of the 35th Infantry Regiment when it joined the newly formed 25th Infantry Division. The Tropic Lightning division stood up Oct. 1, 1941, on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Ten weeks after its formation, the division earned the distinction of being one of the first U.S. military units to be embroiled in World War II when Japanese forces bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7.

Article published on: February 18, 2016


Step’s Education Requirements Lead to Changes in Promotion Points Worksheet

By Jonathan (Jay) Koester - NCO Journal

The Select, Train, Educate, Promote (STEP) system took effect Jan. 1, and Command Sgt. Maj. David Davenport, command sergeant major of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, said NCOs have noticed the new education requirements and are filling Army schoolhouses. “Right now, we have a backlog of Soldiers needing school, and they’re our priority,” Davenport said. “But if we don’t get our Soldiers to school on time, and if they’re not prepared to go to school, what we’re going to have is a promotion backlog, not an education backlog.”

Article published on: February 16, 2016


Town Hall Will Answer NCO Professional Development Questions

By Jonathan (Jay) Koester - NCO Journal

After participating in an enlisted leader panel discussion at an Association of the United States Army conference last fall, Command Sgt. Maj. David Davenport, command sergeant major of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), realized that more needed to be done to communicate the changes being made to NCO professional development.

Article published on: February 12, 2016


POW Master Sergeant Told Nazis, ‘We Are All Jews’

NCO Journal

Near the end of World War II, Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds was the senior noncommissioned officer among a group of prisoners of war in Germany’s Stalag IXA, near Ziegenhain. Sometime in January 1945, German forces instructed all Jewish POWs to report the next morning. Edmonds was in charge of the prisoners, which included Jews and non-Jews. He ordered all of his Soldiers to stand together when the Jewish prisoners were to report.

Article published on: February 10, 2016


Soldiers Will Soon Be Able To Wear Earbuds in the Gym

By Pablo Villa - NCO Journal

It’s news that is music to many ears. A proposal that allows Soldiers to wear earbuds with the PT uniform was approved Monday by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley. The proposal still needs to be incorporated into Army Regulation 670-1 before it becomes official policy. Thus, Soldiers will need to wait a little longer before adding musical accoutrements to their gym wear.

Article published on: February 10, 2016


Course Teaches NCOs Advanced Weapons Maintenance

By Scott T. Sturkol - Army Public Affairs

Knowing how to maintain a weapon is an important skill for an NCO. For advanced training on maintenance and care of numerous weapon types, the Army offers the five-day Additional Duty Armorer Course. The course, taught throughout the year by Regional Training Sites (RTS)-Maintenance, provides performance-oriented training on administrative and technical tasks required of a unit armorer, according to the course description.

Article published on: February 4, 2016