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NCO Journal June 2016 Articles

The official magazine of noncommissioned officer professional development

VTT Connects In New Way with Battle Staff NCO Course Students

By Martha C. Koester - NCO Journal

The U.S. Army Video Teletraining Program for the Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas, has long since established its reputation as a cost-effective program. VTT eliminates the need for students’ temporary duty assignments and allows one instructor to teach many Soldiers at remote locations. Its savings benefits just grew as the nonresident training program recently eliminated a third-party contracting agency, which connected all sites, in favor of a more direct connection that the Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course can control.

Article published on: June 29, 2016

Army Allows Rolled Sleeves with Camo Out and Opts To Let Soldiers Cuff Sleeves

By David Vergun - Army News Service

Effective immediately, commanders may authorize Soldiers to roll up the sleeves on Army combat uniforms, according to a memorandum signed June 28 by Lt. Gen. James C. McConville, the G-1 deputy chief of staff. The new policy pertains to the universal camouflage pattern, operational camouflage pattern and Operation Enduring Freedom camouflage pattern ACUs.

Article published on: June 29, 2016

Director Leads Battle Staff into New Era

By Martha C. Koester - NCO Journal

Sgt. Maj. Richard L. Tucker, director of the Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, credits many military leaders for an amiable leadership style he honed during his decades-long Army career. But it was a former platoon sergeant at then-Fort Lewis, Washington, who showed him what taking care of Soldiers was really about.

Article published on: June 29, 2016

Service Members Show Mettle at Warrior Games

NCO Journal

After a week of intense international competition, the 2016 Department of Defense Warrior Games drew to a close Tuesday at West Point, New York, with Team Army winning the wheelchair basketball championship, followed by a medal ceremony, a concert and fireworks. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley reminded the audience that the competitors — representing the Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard, Marines, U.S. Special Operations Command and the United Kingdom armed forces — were the best of the best.

Article published on: June 22, 2016

Army Testing Rolled Up Sleeves at Fort Hood, Wants to Know What Soldiers Think

NCO Journal

Fort Hood Soldiers have been given a 10-day reprieve from the summer swelter — they were given permission to roll up their sleeves until Sunday, Jan. 26, by Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark A. Milley and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey. It’s only a trial, but the results at Fort Hood could later affect the rest of the Army, allowing Soldiers everywhere to roll up their sleeves this summer.

Article published on: June 22, 2016

Fort Sill Drill Sergeant of the Year Will Be A ‘Force to Be Reckoned With’ In TRADOC Competition

By Meghan Portillo - NCO Journal

A year ago, Staff Sgt. Dustin Randall had plans to join Special Forces. Little did he know that in the span of a few short months, he would instead graduate from drill sergeant school at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, be inducted into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club and selected as NCO of the Month, NCO of the Quarter and then Fort Sill’s 2016 Drill Sergeant of the Year. He now has his sights set on the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command and U.S. Army Drill Sergeant of the Year competitions.

Article published on: June 21, 2016

State of NCO Development Town Hall 2 Will Focus on Leader Development

By Jonathan (Jay) Koester - NCO Journal

After every great movie, there is a sequel. So, it’s time for NCOs to get ready for the State of NCO Development Town Hall 2. After the resounding success of the first town hall from U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command in March, Command Sgt. Maj. David Davenport, command sergeant major of TRADOC, decided to have another one. In fact, Davenport has announced plans for three more.

Article published on: June 20, 2016

USASMA Course Prepares Husbands, Wives for New Responsibilities as Spouses of Senior Enlisted

By Meghan Portillo - NCO Journal

At the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas, the Army’s newest sergeants major are not the only ones preparing for major life changes. The students’ spouses are also developing their own leadership skills in the academy’s Spouse Leadership Development Course.

Article published on: June 16, 2016


By Jeffrey T. Brierton - NCO Journal

Where do you find all the courage in the terrible dark of the night? How do you find the strength you need to steel yourself for the fight? At your back the sun is descending and the shadows are growing tall. You know when the daylight fades to black they’ll rage through the breach in the wall.

Article published on: June 15, 2016

NCOs Challenged, Rewarded By Training in Multinational Environments

By 1st Sgt. Tyler Bell - 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division

A multinational environment provides a noncommissioned officer in the U.S. Army with a fulfilling yet challenging mission at home station, overseas or on the modern battlefield. To be successful, one must be doctrinally sound, flexible, adaptable and a professional.

Article published on: June 14, 2016

Policy Change Will Force 3,000 NCOs Out Early But Open Promotion Opportunities

By Clifford Kyle Jones - NCO Journal

In one of his first major policy changes, Army Secretary Eric Fanning signed a directive to return enlisted Retention Control Points to their 2007 levels. That will mean about 3,000 senior noncommissioned officers will leave the Army earlier than expected, but it also means increased opportunities for mid-grade NCOs to be promoted.

Article published on: June 10, 2016

This Month in NCO History: June 19, 1945 — A One-Man Charge at Ozato, Okinawa

By Pablo Villa - NCO Journal

Technical Sgt. John William Meagher was atop a moving tank when he spied a Japanese soldier with a bomb clutched in his hands dashing toward the vehicle’s tread. Meagher didn’t hesitate. He barked the location of one last target to the tank’s gunner before leaping off the iron behemoth to charge at the incoming threat — and into history as a recipient of the nation’s highest military honor.

Article published on: June 9, 2016

NCOs Enjoy Chance to Take Military History Instructor Course

By Master Sgt. Gary Qualls, JR. - NCO Journal

Noncommissioned officers who recently completed the Military History Instructor’s Course at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, found it filled a knowledge gap common among enlisted personnel. The NCOs said the course gave them a broad foundation in military history and in techniques to teach it effectively. They took the course because they will eventually teach it, but their hope is all NCOs will be afforded the opportunity to eventually take the class.

Article published on: June 8, 2016

NCO Writing Excellence Program Aims to Tune up Communication Skills

By Master Sgt. Gary Qualls, JR. - NCO Journal

The Army’s evolving operating environment demands that noncommissioned officers hone their critical and creative thinking skills and communicate clearly and effectively. This has led the Army to make writing a priority; with Army leaders, such as Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey, speaking out about its importance. Because communication is an essential element of mission command, the Army has increased the importance of writing in the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development System by integrating writing evaluations into the curriculum as well as using writing software to help strengthen the skill.

Article published on: June 7, 2016

NCOs Lead the Charge with Gray Eagle UAVs

By Meghan Portillo - NCO Journal

An NCO’s mind fills with doubt and apprehension as he leads his Soldiers toward an area where they have been ambushed in the past. But now, instead of waiting for a report from a scout or a pilot flying ahead, he can talk directly to the NCO operating an MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle and access the drone’s feed on a laptop to see what awaits his unit up the road and around the corner.

Article published on: June 2, 2016

Prince Harry Returns WCAP NCO’s Gold Medal to British Hospital That Saved Her Life

By Pablo Villa - NCO Journal

A Soldier-athlete’s unprecedented request has been fulfilled. Sgt. Elizabeth Marks, a combat medic and member of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program based at Fort Carson, Colorado, asked Prince Harry to deliver one of the gold medals she won at last month’s Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida, to the staff of the British hospital that saved her life.

Article published on: June 1, 2016